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The International Journal of Motion Imaging
32 Natural Bourne Killer
Robert Elswit, ASC targets international espionage
with The Bourne Legacy
46 Around the World in 65mm
Ron Fricke captures eye-grabbing images in
25 countries for Samsara
62 Hair-Raising Heroics
Tristan Oliver expands stop-motion palette on ParaNorman
78 Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows
The ASC and PGA organize the Image Control
Assessment Series
DEPARTMENTS
FEATURES
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Podcast: The Imposter
DVD Playback: Invasion of the Body Snatchers • Deliverance • Margaret
On Our Cover: Intelligence agent Aaron Cross ( Jeremy Renner) finds himself at the center
of a deadly government conspiracy in The Bourne Legacy, shot by Robert Elswit, ASC.
(Photo by Mary Cybulski, courtesy of Universal Pictures.)
8 Editor’s Note
10 President’s Desk
12 Short Takes: 8
18 Production Slate: Side by Side • World Without End
88 Post Focus: Eldorado
94 New Products & Services
104 International Marketplace
105 Classified Ads
106 Ad Index
108 ASC Membership Roster
110 Clubhouse News
112 ASC Close-Up: John Newby
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EDITORIAL
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Kenneth Sweeney, Patricia Thomson
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Our annual focus on international production takes us all over
the world, chronicling projects that passed through more than
two dozen countries.
On The Bourne Legacy, Robert Elswit, ASC led his crew
through Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and the United
States. To coordinate the complex logistics, he hired separate
gaffers for the three main locations: Andy Day in New York,
Burton Kuchera in Alberta and Cory Geryak in Manila. “We had
to have a lot of equipment in Manila for both the first and
second units,” Elswit tells Michael Goldman (“Natural Bourne
Killer,” page 32). “I did the location scout and preliminary scout-
ing in Manila with Cory, and then I left to start the shoot in New
York. Cory returned to Manila and got everything ready. By the time I got to Canada, we were
ready to pre-light and go right to work in Manila.”
Shooting in four countries probably seems like a cakewalk to director/cinematographer
Ron Fricke and his crew, who traveled to 25 nations over five years for the 65mm documentary
Samsara, which combines sweeping imagery with philosophical insights. Fricke feels his movie
belongs in a genre he calls “impossible films — non-verbal films that sustain themselves only on
images and music.” He adds, “Because there are no actors, the image becomes the main char-
acter. We wanted to capture the essence of the people and places we were photographing, and
a 65mm camera is the best tool to do that.” Our coverage, penned by Iain Stasukevich
(“Around the World in 65mm,” page 46), offers a definitive overview.
This month’s Production Slate presents articles on two more projects that required inter-
national passports: the documentary Side by Side, which elicits prominent filmmakers’ thoughts
on the industry’s seismic transition to digital technology, and World Without End, a sweeping
historical drama shot mainly in Hungary by Denis Crossan, BSC.
While shooting the 3-D stop-motion feature ParaNorman, cinematographer Tristan Oliver
probably would have relished some travel to escape the confines of the Laika animation studio
in Portland, Ore., where he and his crew holed up for nearly two years while meticulously craft-
ing their whimsical movie. The art of stop motion, he muses, is “the same the world over, really:
a very large shed full of tired-looking people and lots of small things.” Senior editor Rachael
Bosley flew north to observe Oliver in his supernatural habitat (“Hair-Raising Heroics,” page 62).
Jay Holben’s article “Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows” (page 78) reports on the
Image Control Assessment Series, a remarkable collaboration between the ASC and the Produc-
ers Guild of America that also involved members of IATSE, SAG, the DGA and the Teamsters, as
well as various camera manufacturers, production and post facilities. A follow-up to the 2009
Camera Assessment Series, ICAS assesses the workflows of top digital cameras in an attempt
to establish industry-wide standards for image control. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all world
anymore,” says ASC member David Stump, who helped Society President Stephen Lighthill
supervise the project’s cinematography team. “You can mix and match cameras, and each
production has the right to expect that they can all be plugged into one timeline for post. Until
every post facility can do that — and provide meaningful digital archiving — we are still facing
a significant deficit in the post world.” Adds Lighthill, “As the production world is pushed and
pulled by various technologies, this community will face more challenges and should be
prepared to act together to achieve our common goals.”
Stephen Pizzello
Executive Editor
Editor’s Note
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In this issue of American Cinematographer are, as always, articles
about the extraordinary efforts of filmmaking teams to bring you
entertainment, enlightenment and information. Filmmaking teams
are formed on every project, and we often forge lifelong bonds
during these remarkable journeys of hard work, adventure and
struggle. We remember each and every film we’ve made by the
relationships we formed with our teammates.
Lucky are those who work together over many projects and
become a sort of moveable community, traveling to different loca-
tions to make different stories come to life. The folks in this
community look out for each other. For instance, a team member
might get an interview to move up to cinematographer, realize
during the interview that it won’t happen on this project, and then
recommend a cinematographer he has worked with before. A
teammate has looked out for another.
The new team formed by our recently elected ASC officers and
Board of Governors has started its journey together, and we are
guiding one of America’s oldest non-profit arts organizations
through this second decade of the new century. One of our chal-
lenges is the rough water navigated by any organization that
publishes periodicals and books, as we do. Oh, to operate in
Germany, where the price of books is fixed by the government so that the Walmarts and Amazons and Costcos of
the world cannot use printed matter as loss leaders and drive publishers and bookstores out of business. (The
purpose of the German law is not economic, really; the purpose is to increase diversity in publishing.) In the United
States, we have lost half of our neighborhood booksellers in the last decade. But we at the ASC have been tough-
ened by many filmmaking campaigns, and we will continue to publish and get the word out to all of you who are
interested in cinematography.
All filmmaking is community based, so to speak, and our community includes inventors, color scientists,
camera manufacturers, lighting companies, programmers and, yes, film-stock manufacturers and labs, all of whom
are represented in the ranks of ASC associate members. They go into filmmaking “battle” with us — they always
have and always will — and they are at heart filmmakers themselves. And the challenges posed by the transfor-
mation to digital affects how our associates work, just as it affects how the ASC produces and distributes its publi-
cations. But cinematographers and our partners have been part and parcel of the “digital revolution” for quite
some time. When the 10th edition of the American Cinematographer Manual is released, you will see it not only
in print, but also in iBook and Kindle formats.
Cut. Print.
Stephen Lighthill
ASC President
President’s Desk
10 September 2012 American Cinematographer
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12 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Shooting 8
By Ignacio Aguilar
The fantasy/horror short 8 is about a boy (played by Sergio
Castellanos) whose extended family comes to his home to give him a
special present on his eighth birthday. In order to get the present, the
boy has to fulfill his family’s rather creepy wishes, which leads to an
unexpected climax.
When writer/director Raúl Cerezo first approached me about
the project, he said he envisioned it with little or no dialogue, and he
wanted to create the impression of a classic Walt Disney short, or a
feature such as Fantasia, by using images and music to tell the story.
To find our visual style and help put ourselves in the proper mood to
create a fantasy/horror movie, we looked at films like Rosemary’s Baby
(shot by William A. Fraker, ASC, to whom our short is dedicated), The
Shining (shot by John Alcott, BSC), Halloween (1978, shot by Dean
Cundey, ASC) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (shot by Vilmos
Zsigmond, ASC). We also found inspiration in the wide-angle
anamorphic compositions of The Andromeda Strain (shot by Richard
H. Kline, ASC), the underexposed interiors of The Godfather Part II
(shot by Gordon Willis, ASC) and the low-key naturalism of Being
There (shot by Caleb Deschanel, ASC).
Given our admiration for these 1970s classics, my initial
thought was to shoot on film, but unfortunately, we couldn’t afford
the cost of shooting 35mm. After considering Super 16mm, Raúl
opted instead to shoot digitally with the Red One camera (with its
original Mysterium sensor, as the MX wasn’t yet available). We knew
we wanted to shoot in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, and as we began to
research lenses, we considered shooting anamorphic with a set of
Zeiss Ultrascope lenses. Because the short takes place at night,
though, we knew we wouldn’t be able to light to the deeper stops
the Ultrascopes demanded, so we chose instead to use a set of Zeiss
Standard Primes (16, 24, 32, 50 and 85mm, all T2.1) for all of our
interior work, and Zeiss Superspeeds (18, 25, 35, 50 and 85mm, all
T1.3) for exteriors. We recorded our .r3d 4K raw files to both Red’s
hard-disk drives and cards, depending on the situation.
Raúl worked closely with storyboard artist Alain Martínez to
carefully plan each of 8’s 90-plus camera setups, including the angles
and movements. Our idea was to use wide-angle lenses with classi-
cal compositions that included a number of elements in each frame,
and to move the camera, when possible, on a dolly.
In our meetings with costume designer Esther Sánchez and
production designer Beatriz Moreno Almendros, Raúl and I asked
them for pastel tones, without any saturated colors. I also asked the
production designer for as many practical light sources as she could
provide. I was after a low-key approach, with lots of underexposure
in each frame, but I always wanted to maintain an overexposed edge
to avoid mushy images and retain some contrast. To put light closer
to the actors when it was needed, I selected tungsten-balanced Kino
Flos for their compact size and inherent softness.
In order to get the right atmosphere for our interiors, we deci-
ded to smoke all of the sets. Additionally, I wanted to use some mild
diffusion filters to create halos around light sources and soften the
image a bit more; I ended up using Black Pro-Mists, primarily ¼
density for interior work and
1
⁄8 for exteriors (plus ½ for a couple of
shots). Despite shooting digitally, we wanted 8 to look as though we
Short Takes
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Guests arrive for a birthday party that proves to have a sinister twist in 8, an award-winning Spanish short shot by Ignacio Aguilar and
directed by Raúl Cerezo.
I
had underexposed film and printed it up to
get a thin negative with milky blacks and
low color saturation.
Due to location and crew availability,
we decided to split principal photography
into two periods, shooting interiors over four
days in early December of 2009 and exte-
riors over three nights in late January of
2010. Our primary location was a house in
Boadilla del Monte, just outside Madrid.
I decided blue light would be the
perfect link to maintain a consistent look
across establishing shots of the house and
our exteriors on dark roads. Blue light was
used in many of the films we referenced to
suggest a nighttime feel, and it was practical
to light the exteriors with uncorrected HMIs.
Since I had decided to use warm tones inside
the house, I felt that the contrast would be
appealing and would help the viewer distin-
guish between the parallel actions taking
place inside and outside the house.
I lit the exterior of the house with
some warm practical fixtures along the fence
and near the main entrance, and I keyed the
actors with a 2K Fresnel and backlit them
with a 1.2K HMI Par. Inside the house — for
example, in the kitchen and corridor — I also
mixed warm practicals with HMI light
coming in through the windows. Of course,
this is a theatrical effect and not realistic, but
I think it works for a fantasy project.
The first scene we shot took place in
the mother’s room. We placed a practical on
each side of a mirror in which the mother
(Carmen Ruiz) looks at herself, and we also
placed a lamp on each side of the bed. To
raise the ambient level a bit, we bounced a
1K Redhead into the ceiling. Since I was
underexposing and shooting against bright
practicals, I added some cooler backlights to
the mother and child to help separate them
from the backgrounds. With the camera set
to 5,000°K at 320 ASA, I shot the scene at
T2.5; I metered the camera at 80 ASA
because of an 80C and IR filter in addition to
the Black Pro-Mist. After this first scene, we
were concerned that we might be working
too near the toe of the curve, so we decided
to remove the 80C filter, set the camera to
3,200°K, meter at 125 ASA and shoot the
rest of the interiors wide open at T2.1. Of
course, this produced more noise in the blue
channel, but it also allowed more light to
reach the sensor. (As it turned out, though,
the first scene did not need to be altered in
terms of exposure, while the rest of the film
had to be darkened in the final grade.)
Most of the action inside the house
takes place downstairs, in a hallway and a
parlor. The hallway was especially difficult: it
was a tiny space, we were shooting with
wide-angle lenses, and we had moving
characters. For simplicity’s sake, I decided I
could live with a flatter look, so I bounced a
Redhead into the ceiling for my key light.
The parlor was much larger, about 25'
long and 12' wide. The characters would
primarily sit or stand around a big table, so it
seemed natural to light from above the table;
for the key light, I constructed a chicken-coop
with eight 200-watt bulbs carefully positio-
ned to avoid double shadows or wall
shadows. When a character would stand off
to the side of the room, we would light them
with a bounced 2K Blonde or two 1K
Redheads. For practical sources, I used regular
150-watt bulbs. By following this strategy, I
was able to shoot 180 or even 270 degrees
with very little adjustment.
A month and a half after wrapping at
the house, the crew reunited for the night-
exterior work, which proved difficult for seve-
14 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Clockwise from top left: The camera crew lines up a shot on their first day of work
while actress Carmen Ruiz rehearses a scene in front of a mirror; in a frame from the
film, Ruiz gazes at her reflection; the crew positions a life-size puppet for a car
sequence that was partially shot on a soundstage.
ral reasons: we were shooting during the
cold winter in the middle of nowhere, we
needed shots inside and outside of a moving
car, we wanted to use a lot of smoke, and
we had mechanical special effects created by
Colin Arthur (who has worked on such films
as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ryan’s Daughter,
Barry Lyndon, Alien and The NeverEnding
Story.) Colin gave us advice on how to
smoke our interiors and instructed techni-
cian Luis de las Heras on how to do it
properly, but his real on-set involvement was
with our night-exterior work, creating and
controlling the fog effects himself with a
machine he had originally devised for Conan
the Barbarian. He and his assistant, Sarah
Pooley, also created a wire-controlled puppet
to stand in for actor Julio Vélez during the
shooting of an accident scene toward the
end of the film. We needed so much smoke
around the car that we decided to shoot that
portion of the night exterior on a sounds-
tage. After shooting in the cold for two
nights, being onstage was a relief. I strove to
maintain the direction and intensity of the
light from the location exteriors, and I feel
the shots fit together seamlessly.
For night-exterior work I set the Red
One to 5,000°K and rated it at 160 ASA,
lighting with HMI Par lights. (Later, in post, I
added blue to the image.) Despite having to
light a large area, I could only afford a few
lights: one 2.5K, two 1.2Ks and one 575-
watt unit. Most of the time I used them as
hard lights — to create higher contrast and
a rougher-edged look on Julio as he was
driving the car and to differentiate these
scenes from those inside the house — but
we also carried a large frame of Light Grid
Cloth for when we needed to light a big
area with softer ambient light.
We did the final color correction in
2K resolution, creating 16-bit TIFF files for
colorist Juan Ignacio Cabrera at Filmbakers.
During the grade, we made the blacks a bit
blacker (but not crushed) to make the inte-
riors look warmer and darker. We also added
blue to the night exteriors.
Alejandro Pérez provided our digital
effects, erasing cables and booms and
helping us hide continuity problems. He also
digitally added some out-of-focus points of
light in the background of our driving shots
to help create a sense of motion. (Pablo
Gotor and Alberto Díaz from Mordisco Films
also contributed some wonderful digital-
manipulation work.)
Finally, we tested the finished film
twice, digitally projecting it at 2K in two
different theaters. After discussing the
results, we decided to digitally add “film
grain” to the final master; even with all of
the smoke, diffusion and underexposure, the
image was still too clear, and the grain
helped enhance the 1970s look we wanted.
Javier Gallén helped us add the grain, as well
as some more vignetting in our wide shots,
and Antonio Casado from Timelapses.es
created our final DCP master.
As 8’s co-producer (with both Raúl
and Javier González Manso), I’d like to thank
everybody involved with this short film, and
as the director of photography, I especially
want to thank my grip, electric and camera
crews. Most of all, I want to thank Raúl,
whose passion for filmmaking, vision, sense
of composition and interest in cinemato-
graphy has allowed me to work at my most
effective. ●
16 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Top: Practical
sources and a
handmade top
light provide eerie
ambience for a
scene in the
project’s main
location. Bottom:
A corresponding
frame from
the short.
18 September 2012 American Cinematographer
A Tectonic Shift in Imaging Technology
By Jean Oppenheimer
The idea for the documentary Side by Side took root in 2010,
when Keanu Reeves was serving as a producer and actor on the indie
feature Henry’s Crime. Long hours of postproduction at Technicolor
New York gave rise to discussions about the increasing use of digital
technology and what that meant for the future of celluloid. Reeves
listened as post supervisor Chris Kenneally, Technicolor senior digital
colorist Tim Stipan, color timer Don Ciana and vice president of
theatrical sales Charles Herzfeld (an ASC associate) weighed the pros
and cons of both formats. Herzfeld gave Reeves a two-hour tour of
Technicolor, walking him through the photochemical process.
“I turned to Chris and said, ‘We should do a documentary
about this,’” recalls Reeves, adding with a laugh, “We didn’t quite
know what that meant, but we just went with the idea of trying to
record this moment in time when things were starting to change.”
That was in the fall of 2010, when digital image capture was still
considered primarily a tool of independent cinema.
Preproduction on Side by Side began shortly after that conver-
sation. “It was a very homespun production,” acknowledges
producer Justin Szlasa. “Our team consisted of me; Keanu, who
served as both interviewer and co-producer; director Chris Kenneally;
and cinematographer Chris Cassidy.”
The documentary wouldn’t take a position on whether one
format was “better” than the other; rather, it would follow the
moviemaking process from beginning to end — from capture to
archiving — and explain how both processes worked and reveal
what people in the industry had to say. In light of how swiftly tech-
nology was moving, it was important to make a documentary that
didn’t feel dated; according to Kenneally, that meant talking about
things in a more general, philosophical way, rather than getting
caught up in data or the makes of specific cameras.
Moreover, the four wanted to make a film that was accessi-
ble to the layperson but not boring to people in the industry; some-
thing that communicated a substantial amount of information but
didn’t feel overly “educational”; something that, above all, was
enjoyable to watch. As Szlasa cautioned his colleagues during their
first production meeting, “There is a real opportunity to make some-
thing here that is really dull.”
To educate themselves about the subject matter, Szlasa says
they “read a bunch of back issues of American Cinematographer.
We also talked to people like David Stump, ASC, who is a tremen-
dous resource; cinematographer Geoff Boyle, FBKS, who provided a
great overview; and people like Herzfeld and editor Walter Murch,
who are experts in their [respective] areas.”
It was Herzfeld who suggested starting at Plus Camerimage,
the annual cinematography festival in Poland, which was taking
place in a matter of weeks. “It’s a great place to be if you are going
to be interviewing cinematographers,” Kenneally notes with a
laugh. “They’re everywhere.”
Cassidy, whose background is in documentaries, shorts and
music videos, suggested using a Panasonic AG-HPX170 to shoot
Side by Side, citing the camera’s speed, convenience and portability,
all of which would prove useful at the festival. “It’s a really good,
compact, reliable HD camera, and I knew we would be interviewing
Production Slate
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In a frame grab from the documentary Side by Side, a piece of Imax film negative illustrates the image areas of 15-perf, 8-perf,
5-perf and 4-perf film formats.
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20 September 2012 American Cinematographer
people on very short notice and with no real
time to set up,” he explains. Plus, the film-
makers needed to be able to shoot for long
stretches of time without stopping the flow
of the conversations; most of the interviews
lasted between 40 minutes and an hour.
The production utilized two
HPX170s, one owned by Cassidy and the
other purchased for the shoot; one was
always locked off on the interviewee, while
Cassidy handheld the second one, using it to
shoot the subject from different angles and
to get shots of Reeves as he asked questions.
“We were concerned how it would look
with one camera locked off and one not,”
acknowledges Cassidy, “but they edited
together well.”
Cassidy also employed his Canon
EOS 5D Mark II. “A lot of our B-roll was tech-
nical stuff: film going through cameras,
knobs and buttons, chemicals going through
machines,” continues Cassidy. “I shot a lot of
macro-photography, and the 5D enabled us
to add some really great Canon lenses that
we would not have been able to use with the
170. My package contained a 100mm Macro
Canon L series; a 20-35mm short zoom; and
a 50mm T1.2, which is a really fast lens — if
I was in a space where I needed more light, I
had it with the 50mm.” The B-roll was shot
in facilities all around the globe, including
Deluxe, Panavision, Red, Company 3 and
Light Iron in Los Angeles; Kodak, Sixteen19,
AbelCine and Silicon Imaging in New York;
Technicolor in New York and L.A.; Industrial
Light & Magic and Lucasfilm near San Fran-
cisco; and MPC and Framestore in London.
“As far as lights go, we traveled with
a basic three-light kit,” says Cassidy. “We
used Lowell Tota-lights, which are very
compact, rugged and versatile, and up front
we diffused our key light with a Chimera soft
box. It was a pretty simple setup.”
As soon as the team arrived at Camer-
image, they started grabbing cinematogra-
phers. “Can you imagine lighting and shoot-
ing some of those guys?” asks a still incredu-
lous Cassidy. “They’ve shot some of the best
movies ever made. A couple of them were
like, ‘Move that key light over here.’ They
were schooling me! I learned a lot.”
About 140 people were interviewed
for the documentary, including directors,
cinematographers, visual-effects supervisors,
digital colorists, producers and even actors.
About 70 of them ended up in the finished
movie. “Christopher Nolan only had about
20 minutes free [during] the whole of 2011,”
half-jokes Kenneally. “We interviewed him
on the set of The Dark Knight Rises.” Nolan
agreed to do the interview after receiving a
personal letter from Reeves, who typed the
request by hand on his manual Olivetti.
Cassidy is convinced that using an old-fash-
Filmmakers interviewed
for the documentary
include director James
Cameron (top left),
visual-effects supervisor
David Stump, ASC (top
right), directors Lana
and Andy Wachowski
(right) and 3-D expert
Vince Pace, ASC
(bottom), shown with
interviewer/
co-producer Keanu
Reeves, camera
operator Kyle Blackman
and cinematographer
Chris Cassidy.
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22 September 2012 American Cinematographer
ioned, manual typewriter did the trick, but
Reeves isn’t so sure, commenting, “I don’t
know why Nolan said yes; I am just very
grateful that he did.”
The more people the filmmakers
talked to, the more they learned, including
which movies are considered digital mile-
stones. “Certain films kept cropping up: The
Celebration, 28 Days Later… [AC July ’03],
Slumdog Millionaire [AC Dec. ’08],” says
Kenneally. “I looked up the films on IMDb
and found that the same person had shot all
three of them: Anthony Dod Mantle [ASC,
BSC, DFF]. We caught up with him in
London.”
Dod Mantle is often credited with
getting the digital ball rolling with the Danish
feature The Celebration, which he shot with
a Sony DCR-PC7E camera. The picture won
the Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Cannes Film
Festival, significantly raising digital’s profile.
“Digital cameras have become the conven-
tion,” observes Dod Mantle, speaking to AC
from his home in Denmark, “but I believe
you have to assess each story individually
and decide which format is best for the
particular story. I think the reason my digital
work gathered momentum was because I
was attracting people who were interested
[in using it], and I wasn’t scared to try things.
“I can’t talk about one format with-
out talking about the other,” he continues,
“because they are both subservient to some-
thing much bigger, which is communicating
a story and emotionally supporting [that
story]. Granted, the format used can have
enormous financial [implications], but those
issues have far less significance for me.”
Director of photography Reed
Morano (Frozen River, Little Birds) echoes
Dod Mantle’s sentiments that different
formats lend themselves to different
projects. She shot two of her last four
movies digitally and two on 35mm. But
speaking to AC from her home in New York,
she admits to having a special fondness for
film. “I have an old-school mentality. I really
do think it’s not just about the look but also
about the mentality that shooting film
creates and the kind of vibe it creates on a
set. Everyone is on [his or her] A-game when
shooting a movie, but I think they are even
more so when shooting film because you
can hear the money running through the
camera.
“The accessibility of digital is great,
giving everybody an artistic voice,” she
continues, “and I embrace the DI, but digi-
tal can also be very harsh on skin tones. And
since you can shoot continuously for hours
with a digital camera, it can wear everyone
out, both crew and actors. As a camera
operator I can tell you that carrying an Alexa
on your shoulder for 16 hours straight has
physical ramifications.”
Visual-effects supervisor and effects
cameraman David Stump, ASC (X-Men,
Quantum of Solace) believes that “the tools
now are so good and so transparent that
you can start with film and get a digital look,
and start with digital and get a film look. I
find, however, that most producers have
already decided on what their workflow is
going to be [before interviewing potential
cameramen].
“I’m still in favor of using film every-
where you can,” he submits, “but that
window of opportunity is [closing fast].
Shooting film is a harder and harder sell
these days. Certainly, it requires a heroic
effort to finish a movie all on film. But
archival is the toughest nut to crack. There
really isn’t much alternative [to film].”
Side by Side, which was edited and
color-corrected at Sixteen19 in New York,
premiered at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival.
Asked if anything they encountered while
making the documentary had surprised
them, Reeves says that, for him, it was
when David Lynch said “he thinks he might
be finished with film. His work is so aesthet-
ically beautiful; I think of the images as
filmic images, and I was surprised he might
be walking away from my concept of what
he had done so wonderfully.”
Szlasa confesses, “We became
totally convinced by whomever we had
interviewed last.” Cassidy recalls the inter-
view with David Fincher, a strong proponent
of digital. “We got out of there and were all
like, ‘That was amazing. He’s so inspiring;
he’s doing it right.’ Then we’d talk to Chris
Nolan and say, ‘Oh, man, there’s nothing
better than film.’”
Szlasa says he expected most of the
cinematographers and directors to come
down hard on one side or the other of the
film/digital debate. What surprised him was
how conflicted some of them felt. “David
Tattersall [BSC], who is a big digital partisan,
has a real affection for film. So do young
cinematographers like Bradford Young. I
thought the older cameramen would be
pro-film and the younger people pro-digital,
but that’s not how it worked out.”
Morano, for one, sees no reason to
choose one format over the other. “I think
the world needs to stop saying it needs to
be one or the other. Both formats need to
coexist for our creativity. It’s a beautiful thing
that we have so many choices because it
offers a wide range of what your visuals can
look like. We are only limiting our industry
by trying to take film out of the equation.”
TECHNICAL SPECS
1.78:1
Digital Capture
Panasonic AG-HPX170,
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon
Leading the Side by Side production team were (from left to right) Cassidy,
producer Justin Szlasa, director Chris Kenneally and Reeves.

A Historical Epic
Shot in Hungary
By Mark Hope-Jones
The success of the 2010 miniseries
adapted from Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the
Earth made it practically certain that a simi-
lar adaptation of Follett’s sequel, World
Without End, would follow. Both stories
take place in the fictional English town of
Kingsbridge, though the action in World
Without End begins in the year 1327, almost
two centuries after the events depicted in
Pillars. The sprawling story follows a large
number of characters across several
decades, depicting the struggles of feudal
society and incorporating real historical
events such as the Black Death and the
Edwardian War.
Director Michael Caton-Jones, whose
credits include This Boy’s Life and Rob Roy,
was hired by the producers in a bid to
achieve a cinematic feel for World Without
End. A native of Scotland, Caton-Jones
trained at the National Film and Television
School in London. Coincidentally, the cine-
matographer brought in for the show, Denis
Crossan, BSC, was another Scot who started
his professional life by traveling south to
study at the NFTS. Crossan has since shot a
number of high-profile commercials and
features.
When they began prepping World
Without End, neither Crossan nor Caton-
Jones felt inclined to take much reference
from the preceding miniseries. “A number of
our crewmembers had worked on Pillars, but
generally, it was a whole new deal, and I
didn’t really see it as a sequel,” says Crossan.
“In truth, I didn’t see any continuity other
than the name Kingsbridge! Like many
medieval films and dramas do, Pillars went for
a grim, gritty look, and Michael definitely
wanted to move away from that.”
Caton-Jones notes, “I started
researching medieval paintings because that’s
the only visual reference for the period, aside
from architecture. Art at that time was not
particularly refined, but I came across the Pre-
Raphaelites, and even though that was a
Victorian representation of the Middle Ages,
it had a bucolic feeling that I felt might
provide an appropriate palette for World
Without End, given the nature of the story. I
also looked at the French painter Millet. We
pulled our look together from those influ-
ences — the shades, tones and the represen-
tation of nature.”
The six-month shoot took place mainly
in Hungary, onstage at Korda Studios and also
at a giant set of Kingsbridge that was built
from scratch on a nearby site. Crossan was
present on early scouts to make sure the
Kingsbridge set was designed to allow best
use of the sun for exterior work. “We tried to
keep scenes as backlit as possible because the
sets looked more evocative with some model-
ing,” he says. “That meant we had to spend
time working out shadows and calculating
the best time of day to shoot certain scenes.
If it was overcast, we would still shoot, but in
general, I wanted as much sunlight as possi-
24 September 2012 American Cinematographer
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Top: Dramatic
lighting enhances
an interior scene
from the period
drama World
Without End, shot
by Denis Crossan,
BSC. Bottom:
Although the
historical saga is
set in the fictional
English town of
Kingsbridge, sets
were built in
Hungary, on
stages at Korda
Studios and at
nearby sites.
26 September 2012 American Cinematographer
ble. The difficulty came if we started a scene
with the sun and then lost it. I usually had at
least three 18K HMIs on hand to match the
sun in those instances, and we always
started with the wider shots, so it was just
mids or closer stuff we had to light.”
Crossan shot with Arri Alexas, a deci-
sion prompted as much by logistical
concerns as anything else. “I had used the
Alexa and the Red [One] before and was
happy with both, but what the Alexa had
going for it was that Arri had a presence in
Budapest,” he explains. “We needed a
whole lot of cameras, lenses, accessories
and backup, and Arri could provide all that.
“Also, I wanted to keep the equip-
ment as compact as possible, but still have a
lot of variation in what we could achieve. I
didn’t want to drag around a big crane that
would take a lot of time to set up, but our
characters are often on horses, so we had to
work at different [camera] heights. I decided
to use a Fisher dolly and jib arm in combi-
nation with Arrimotion, a remote and
repeatable head that you control from a
geared head. Mainly it was useful in tight
spaces and on the jib arm, and it was quite
fast to use.”
While pondering the show’s camera-
work, Caton-Jones took inspiration from
films such as Sweet Smell of Success and
Paths of Glory. Crossan notes, “What
Michael liked in those films was the use of a
long establishing shot in which the actors
and the camera move around each other in
a sort of choreographed dance. That’s very
dependent on actors hitting marks and
acting whilst also being aware of the
camera. Some of our actors found that diffi-
cult to begin with, but very quickly everyone
got into it, and we carried it through the
whole show, usually working very tradition-
ally on the dolly.”
For Caton-Jones, this approach was
crucial to achieving a cinematic look. “A
camera move should be motivated by some-
thing within the frame,” he says. “The place-
ment of people within the frame should
denote their emotional or psychological
importance at any given point. I learned from
the films of Alexander Mackendrick and John
Ford that you should be able to tell the rela-
tive emotional dynamics [of a scene] with the
sound turned down. The fact that I had those
Pre-Raphaelite paintings in my mind also
pushed us towards classical, balanced
compositions.”
Crossan utilized SxS Pro cards to
record ProRes 4:4:4 Log C images, maintain-
ing the EI 800 base sensitivity. He chose not
to create specific looks for different phases of
the story. “My idea was to keep it pretty
simple,” he says. “All the interiors are candle-
light, torches and flames, so it makes sense
for them to look similar throughout. When
we started prep, everyone was keen to talk
about workflow and what we would do with
look-up tables, but that sounds to me like
something you’d talk about in an accoun-
tant’s office.
“My response was to say that we’d
have just three grades, and that’s pretty much
what we did,” continues the cinematogra-
pher. “I shot tests with candlelight and
torches, took them to Colorfront in
Budapest, and created a few simple looks
that would cover us for day and night exteri-
ors and interiors. I also created a slightly grit-
tier look for the Plague sequence, but there
really were only about three grades we
applied to the whole thing. Colorfront sent
me reference images every day, which was
very helpful. When I started the final grade at
Technicolor in London, I found the simplicity
of that approach could be carried right
through.”
Interiors range from dark hovels to
grand banqueting halls, and windows are
sometimes small and sparse even in the latter.
One set that bucked this trend was the Palace
of Westminster, which Crossan had to light
for both day and night scenes. “Initially, they
didn’t have any proper backings for the
windows, but I knew we’d need something
out there,” he recalls. “The windows were
also too clear, which wasn’t appropriate for
the period, so we mucked them up a bit.
They created a simple backing of painted
blocks, with no detail at all, and that was
enough to give the impression of structures
outside. I didn’t want to solve the problem
Top: Shafts of
light illuminate a
period interior.
Bottom: A
behind-the-
scenes photo
shows the crew’s
lighting approach
to onstage
windows behind
a set wall.
28 September 2012 American Cinematographer
by just blowing out the windows because
that wasn’t right for the look of this show,
and it would have been a bit lazy.”
For day interiors on this set, Crossan’s
crew positioned 20Ks on scissor lifts behind
the large windows, raising and lowering
them to represent different times of day.
Toplight was achieved either with space
lights or floor lights bounced into a 20'x20'
frame with skirting to keep spill off the
walls. “I rigged that set so that we could
easily go from day to night, because we
often had both day and night scenes on the
same schedule,” notes Crossan.
One of those night scenes portrays a
banquet, with tables dotted around the
large space. “The primary light source was
supposed to be candles,” says Crossan. “I
had space lights and localized soft boxes
above the tables, where the candelabras
were, and everything was on dimmers so
we could bring the color temperature down
to match the candlelight. That made it quite
warm, and I could also tweak the color
temperature on the Alexa. Hard lights like
5Ks were hidden in corners and bounced
into poly, and then we’d flag off anything I
didn’t want on the floor to get the effect of
a streak of light.”
Crossan’s main lenses were Cooke
S4 primes, though he also carried Ange-
nieux Optimo zooms and Arri Tilt Focus
Lenses. (The latter were used for moments
of heightened tension or character intro-
spection.) Exteriors were exposed between
T4 and T5.6, and interiors between T2 and
T2.8. “The focus pullers had a hard time
because we shot on a lot of long lenses,”
says Crossan. “In general, the widest we
shot was a 32mm, and everything else was
longer, going up to 180mm. I always took
meter readings before looking at the wave-
form monitor, and it often seemed that if
the meter was reading T2, I could actually
go down to T2.8. Our DIT [digital-imaging
technician] initially thought I was doing
everything on the low side, but after a
while, he got into it, and he’d actually come
to me to say he thought we could push a
scene down a bit!”
Crossan would often ride the T-stop
during a shot, or even make a manual stop
pull when the action transitioned from exte-
rior daylight to a much darker interior. He
recalls, “There was a scene where Godwyn
[Rupert Evans] is standing at his mother’s
doorway and asking her to kill her brother.
Michael wanted to do something visually to
make his character seem more sinister, so I
kept most of the light off him and opened
the lens up enough for the background of
Kingsbridge market to be overexposed and
have quite a harsh, jagged look. Rupert
played the scene and took a step back into
the light, at which point I stopped down,
and that brought the background back to
normal. I’m not sure anyone will notice it,
really, but it was a fun thing to do, and it
seemed relevant to the emotion of the
scene.”
TECHNICAL SPECS
1.78:1
Digital Capture
Arri Alexa
Cooke, Angenieux, Arri ●
Top:
Kingsbridge’s
villagers at work.
Bottom: Armed
with his
viewfinder,
Crossan
navigates the
Hungarian
landscape.
www.fujifilm.com
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32 September 2012 American Cinematographer
O
ne day in late June, as he wraps up a digital-intermedi-
ate session at Deluxe’s Company 3 in Santa Monica and
prepares to head to a sound-mixing session at nearby
Todd-AO, director Tony Gilroy pauses to confer with
cinematographer Robert Elswit, ASC and colorist Stefan
Sonnenfeld, an ASC associate. Gilroy wants to know if an
assassin’s skin tone appears too saturated during a brief close-
up from an early sequence in The Bourne Legacy. It’s a short
conversation — Gilroy almost immediately defers to Elswit,
who shot the filmmaker’s first two features, Michael Clayton
and Duplicity.
“I’ve spent more time with [Elswit] in the last seven
years than any other person on the planet, other than intimate
family,” Gilroy says, laughing. “We became great friends on
Michael Clayton, and we don’t have any limits on our conver-
sation or taste. I run an open conversation where everybody
Natural
Bourne
Killer
Natural
Bourne
Killer
Robert Elswit, ASC
and director Tony
Gilroy expand the
action franchise’s
visual style with
The Bourne Legacy.
By Michael Goldman
•|•
www.theasc.com September 2012 33
can say what he wants. I want every
single person on set to be a filmmaker.
That said, it’s also true that the camera
department is first among equals for me.
On this film especially, because I had
never done anything [this technically
complicated] before, I was always inter-
ested in what [Elswit] had to say.”
Going into The Bourne Legacy,
the main challenge the filmmakers
faced was making their movie fit seam-
lessly within the larger Bourne world.
The new film’s conceit is that the three
previous adventures, involving Jason
Bourne, were merely the blueprints of a
much larger conspiracy. Legacy intro-
duces Aaron Cross ( Jeremy Renner), a
character who serves as living proof that
the nefarious Treadstone and Blackbriar
projects — which appeared to climax in
The Bourne Ultimatum (AC Sep. ’07) —
had grown tentacles reaching far beyond
Bourne. As secretive government agen-
cies attempted to cover up their actions
in Ultimatum, they simultaneously tried
to snuff out other people and secrets,
including Cross and a scientist named
Marta (Rachel Weisz).
Gilroy has scripted each film in
the franchise, but Legacy marks his first
turn in the director’s chair, following
Doug Liman on The Bourne Identity
and Paul Greengrass on The Bourne
Supremacy and Ultimatum. Elswit U
n
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.
Opposite page:
Aaron Cross
(Jeremy Renner),
a specially
developed
intelligence
agent, finds
himself in the
crosshairs of a
deadly
government
conspiracy in The
Bourne Legacy.
This page, top
and middle: Cross
and a targeted
scientist, Marta
Shearing (Rachel
Weisz), elude
their pursuers in
Manila. Bottom:
Cinematographer
Robert Elswit,
ASC wields his
meter.
34 September 2012 American Cinematographer
assumed cinematography duties from
Oliver Wood, who shot all three of the
previous pictures.
The first three Bourne movies
established a frenetic action language
that has since become widely emulated,
and the team behind Legacy had to
determine just how much of that
language to carry over. Gilroy admits,
“That was something we were very
conscious of, almost to the point of
anxiety as our start date got closer.” He
adds that he gathered his team to watch
the previous Bourne films and “gut-
check ourselves” just 10 days before
principal photography began in late
2011. Their conclusion was that “we
were broadening the perspective of this
story, so we had not only a right but
maybe a responsibility to expand the
visual style,” Gilroy says. “The other
movies showed you a corner of this
world, and now we are tearing back the
curtain, so we went for a wider, more
encyclopedic visual vocabulary while
keeping our basic palette and still having
balls all the way through, particularly
with the visceral action that Bourne has
become known for.”
Elswit feels that the franchise’s
previous filmmakers created visuals that
“have become the signature style of
contemporary action features.” He
reserves special praise for Wood, editors
Saar Klein and Chris Rouse, and direc-
tors Liman and Greengrass, whose work
he strategically “quotes” in The Bourne
Legacy. “Their use of documentary-style
handheld cameras — as well as abun-
dant but non-traditional coverage, accel-
erated editing tempos and a realistic
approach to set design — has come to
define that style of filmmaking,” he says.
“What I’ve always been most
impressed with in the Bourne films is
Oliver’s approach to lighting, ” Elswit
continues. “The light always seems
source-driven, but it still manages to
impart a strong dramatic underpinning
without ever calling attention to itself.
This non-theatrical, almost completely

Natural Bourne Killer
Top: Cross
prepares a fake
passport. Bottom:
The agent engages
in a heated
exchange with
retired Col. Eric
Byer (Edward
Norton).
www.theasc.com September 2012 35
naturalistic style is as important to the
look as handheld cameras, and it’s a lot
harder to do. It’s a key element that
gives the Bourne movies their authentic-
ity and makes them come alive.
Creating the dramatic tension that
Oliver’s naturalistic approach to lighting
achieved was the most important visual
element I tried to carry over into
Legacy.”
The latest installment begins
within the timeframe of Ultimatum’s
final 20 minutes. A handful of takes
shot by Wood for Ultimatum appear in
two places within Legacy, and new
footage was shot to reveal different
angles on those sequences. To help hide
the seams, Elswit opted to shoot Legacy
in 4-perf Super 35mm, framing for
2.40:1 exhibition.
Two cameras rolled simultane-
ously throughout the production. Elswit
notes, “We looked for non-traditional
coverage, but probably shot a little less
of it than on the previous Bourne films.
Sometimes it’s almost impossible not
to shoot over-the-shoulders. Also,
although we were handheld through-
out, we vibrated the camera somewhat
less than was apparent [on Ultimatum].
The different nature of our story, and
Tony’s taste, made us shy away from
some of the extreme camera shake and a
‘Cuisinart approach’ to coverage.”
Elswit worked with Panaflex
Millennium XL and PanArri 235
camera bodies, using Kodak Vision3
200T 5213 stock for day exteriors and
bright interiors, and 500T 5219 for
nights and dark interior work. He relied
primarily on Primo prime lenses
(14mm all the way through 150mm),
along with Panavision zooms (24-
275mm and 19-90mm) and Angenieux
zooms (27-68mm and 15-40mm).
Baz Idoine, who served as
A-camera first AC on the main unit
and second-unit camera operator and
cinematographer for additional photog-
raphy in New York, adds that the
production used “the regular gamut of
Technocranes, Libra heads, cranes on
insert cars, Steadicams and handheld
cameras — including what we call our
‘football’ package for when we needed a
smaller, lighter camera for fights and
action.
“The ‘football’ is basically an Arri
235 with the eyepiece removed,” Idoine
continues. “We add a small monitor and
lightweight lenses. It also has handles
that drop down from the top so the
operator can run with it and do fast,
violent pans. It’s quite handy for action.”
The nature of the action
sequences also allowed the production
to take extensive advantage of special-
ized camera-vehicle technologies,
including the Go Mobile shooting-
platform system and Grip Trix motor-
ized camera dollies. “The Go Mobile
system was used a lot by [second-unit
director] Dan Bradley’s team when we
were in the Philippines,” explains A-
camera operator Andrew Rowlands.
“We put a Technocrane and arm opera-
tor on it, and we also had two handheld
camera operators seated inside it. In
New York, we used the Grip Trix
because we could sit on it handheld or
Top: Crewmembers propel a special snow rig while capturing action shots on location in Alberta, Canada.
Bottom: Elswit captures the burn as Shearing’s house goes up in flames — a real pyro
sequence shot on Staten Island.
36 September 2012 American Cinematographer
with a Steadicam for chase sequences.”
One of the film’s big action
setpieces occurs at Shearing’s home.
Agents have been dispatched to elimi-
nate the scientist, but they find them-
selves confronted by Cross. In the story,
the house is supposed to be in the
Virginia suburbs, but the filmmakers
wanted to shoot at a historic home in
upstate New York. “We found an extra-
ordinary 19th-century Hudson Valley
house where we wanted to film these 12
or 14 minutes of mayhem,” Gilroy
explains. However, he adds, “the archi-
tect hired by a local historical society to
preserve the house said they couldn’t
allow it. That was close to our start date,
and it left a hole in our world.
“That’s why you want to have all
these filmmakers around you,” the
director continues. “We talked it out, ran
numbers and realized there was just
enough space onstage at Kaufman
Astoria Studios in Long Island to build
most of the house interior. So [produc-
tion designer] Kevin Thompson repro-
duced the house with a few changes to
make things easier for us, and we had
enough control [onstage] to make it
worthwhile. It worked beautifully.”
For Elswit and New York gaffer

Natural Bourne Killer
Top: Cross and
Shearing make
their way down a
bustling street in
Manila, where
the production
could not fully
control traffic.
Gaffer Cory
Geryak, who
supervised
lighting
requirements in
the Philippines,
says the biggest
overall challenge
of the Manila
shoot was
“coordinating the
shifting of gear
around the city.”
Bottom: Weisz
runs through a
narrow Manila
alleyway for a
key Steadicam
sequence.
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38 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Andy Day, shooting inside the set for
the three-story house required some
complex lighting. “That was certainly
the most challenging set we had,” says
Elswit. “In the film, the house is
surrounded by woods, and I felt that
even if we had enough decent backings,
there was no practical way to light them
outside the set while lighting the inte-
rior at the same time. My solution was
to use greenscreen beyond all the
windows; it was not a solution initially
welcomed by the producers, but, to their
credit, they agreed to it when they saw
we would be able to work more effi-
ciently — and, more importantly, create
a more believable sequence. Visual-
effects supervisor Hal Couzens [work-
ing with Double Negative] did a
wonderful job in helping to blend the
background plates and interior light-
ing.” (Legacy has about 800 visual-
effects shots.)
During the battle in the house,
some shots pan past a window, down a
hallway, through a door and out another
window. Elswit notes, “The windows
were large, with no coverings, and
because it was a day scene, we wanted it

Natural Bourne Killer
Top: A lighting
diagram provided
by Geryak shows
the production’s
strategy for the
exterior of a
Manila building
selected to
serve as a
pharmaceutical
factory. Bottom:
Interiors for the
same sequence
were shot inside
the massive
New York Times
printing plant in
the College Point
area of Queens,
New York.
to feel as though all the rooms were lit
by the ambient daylight coming through
the windows. So Andy and key grip
Rich Guinness [ Jr.] built eight large box
lights to hang outside the windows. We
used
1
⁄4 CTB on those units to slightly
raise the color temperature.”
Day adds, “Each of the box lights
had 12 6K space-light hoops inside. We
wanted to create soft, ambient daylight,
so we combined them with thick diffu-
sion. Those units were used primarily for
lighting the first level of the three-story
set.
“When we weren’t looking at the
greenscreens, we would bring in large
bounces with lots of light aimed into
them,” Day continues. “It was supposed
to be an overcast day, so within the set,
we augmented that look with lots of
Kino Flos and [Lowel] Rifa lights. The
Rifas come in several different sizes, and
we carried the whole line. They’re easy
to set up and break down, and they
provide a great quality of soft yet direc-
tional light.”
As the action ramps up inside the
house, Cross runs full-bore through a
spacious atrium to avoid automatic-
weapons fire, with panes of glass shatter-
ing all around him. Day’s crew lit the
action from above with soft boxes, and
Rowlands credits the Grip Trix, as well
Cross leaps into a narrow crevice between
two buildings in Manila.
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40 September 2012 American Cinematographer
as key grip Guinness and dolly grip Jeff
Kunkel, with allowing Renner’s run to
be captured without slowing the actor
or the choreography. “We had to move
the camera as fast as Jeremy was
moving,” Rowlands recalls. “To help us
go that fast, the crew took out a side
wall along the back porch so we could
run the Grip Trix from one end to the
other as quickly as we could and then
stop within a foot or two of the fire lane.
I operated with a Libra head, and
Guinness and Kunkel made it work —
one steered and one accelerated. When
we do Steadicam or handheld chase
sequences, I have to totally trust those
guys.”
The action eventually spills down
into the basement. For that portion of
the sequence, the production secured a
real basement in a home on Long Island.
For certain exteriors and pyro work, the
filmmakers also shot at a house in Staten
Island. To capture shots of Cross scaling
the side of the house, the crew managed
to wrangle permission to shoot briefly
outside the Hudson Valley home that
originally inspired them.
One of the crew’s tasks was to
help bridge Cross’ climb up the exterior
on location with his entrance through a
third-story window onstage. Elswit
explains, “At the climax of the house
sequence, we wanted to follow Jeremy in
one shot as he climbs out of the basement,
scales the side of the house, enters the
window and fires his gun at someone on
the floor below. We wanted the camera to
follow him the entire way, ending up over
his shoulder. To do this in what appears to
be one shot, Rich Guinness and his rigging
crew set up a 30-foot platform on location
that allowed us to use a 50-foot
Technocrane for the first part of the climb.
We followed Jeremy up the side of the
house using the Technocrane and then
pushed into the window. Later, on our
stage set, Rich and the crew set up a
three-story platform from which we
could use a 30-foot Technocrane to
match the size and distance of Jeremy’s
entrance through the window; we then
followed him the rest of the way into the
set, ending over his shoulder as he fired
his gun.
“Visual effects were used to blend
the two shots as Jeremy passed through
the window,” the cinematographer

Natural Bourne Killer
Top left and right:
Cable-mounted
camera rigs and a
crane-mounted
remote head were
used to capture
portions of an
extensive rooftop
chase in Manila.
Rigging work for
lights and camera
took weeks to
prepare before
shooting started
in Manila. Bottom:
Supported by
safety cables,
Renner and
Weisz perform
another stunt.
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42 September 2012 American Cinematographer
continues. “To facilitate the blend, I felt
it was important to get the color temp
and light level on the set as close as
possible to the values we’d had on the
exterior location. Making the set bright
enough required four 18K Arrimax
units bouncing into muslins 15 feet
above the top of the set.”
Another major set in the New
York area was situated inside the
massive New York Times printing plant
in the College Point area of Queens.
The facility’s large production floor was
transformed into a pharmaceutical
manufacturing plant, where the film-
makers shot a scene with 400 extras
each morning for several days. To light
the space, they relied primarily on the
facility’s existing sodium-vapor and
metal-halide lighting fixtures. “We were
largely balancing to the existing light,”
Day confirms. “Because there were so
many fixtures, it would have been cost-
prohibitive to change them all out.”
Day explains that during the
scene, “Jeremy and Rachel’s characters
are trying to escape from the manufac-
turing facility. They’re pursued by secu-
rity and Jeremy shoots out a lighting
control panel on the factory floor. It was
a big job coordinating with the electri-
cians at the facility to create a ‘lights off ’

Natural Bourne Killer
A variety of
special vehicles
and rigs, including
a specially
equipped bus
(top) and Go
Mobiles (middle
and bottom) were
used to execute
portions of the
movie’s complex
motorcycle-chase
sequence,
designed by
second-unit
director Dan
Bradley. The prop
dummies on the
motorcycle (top)
were used for
safety reasons in
a portion that
was augmented
with visual
effects.
cue from several different control
panels.”
Principal photography for Legacy
extended far beyond New York to
include locations in Manila, in the
Philippines; Alberta, Canada; and,
briefly, South Korea. The schedule,
budget and logistical requirements of
the shoot required Elswit to take the
unusual step of selecting a gaffer for each
of the three major locations: Day in New
York, Burton Kuchera in Alberta and
Cory Geryak in Manila.
“We had to have a lot of equip-
ment in Manila for both the first and
second units — we were going to need
huge cable rigs on the rooftops,” Elswit
explains. “Having someone on the
ground there who could move all that
equipment in and make sure it got
rigged properly was important. I did the
location scout and preliminary scouting
in Manila with Cory [in late 2011], and
then I left to start the shoot in New
York. Cory returned to Manila [in
January 2012] and got everything ready.
By the time I got to Canada, we were
ready to pre-light and go right to work
in Manila.”
Geryak says the biggest overall
challenge of the Manila shoot was
simply “coordinating the shifting of gear.
We tried to bring in enough gear that we
could light two locations at a time and
then leapfrog the equipment to another
location for another day. There were
only two or three Condors available to
us [at a time], and we built a steel cage
off a construction crane, so we worked
our lighting plans around those limita-
tions. We would shoot in one location
and then move the lifts to a different
part of the city the next night. It was a
challenge getting them wrapped at one
location, transported through a
congested city and re-rigged at the new
location in the same day, but we had no
choice.”
The second unit, led by Bradley
(who also directed the second unit on
Supremacy and Ultimatum) and cine-
matographer Paul Hughen, was also
crucial to the work in Manila, where
they executed the film’s climactic
rooftop and motorcycle chases. The
rooftop chase sequence involved stunts
on buildings, in alleyways and on the
teeming streets of Manila’s San Andrés
district; for one piece of the action, the
production also manufactured an alley-
way built to be only 18" across in one
section.
Gilroy points to Bradley’s contri-
butions to these sequences as a prime
example of the underappreciated art of
second-unit work. “Dan Bradley was
crucial,” the director says. “We sat down
together about 10 months before we
started shooting. I explained that I
wanted a motivated relationship with
him, unlike some experiences he might
have had where he went in as a hired
gun. I wanted to do it shoulder to shoul-
der. I told him the bad news was that he
wouldn’t have his own show to run, but
the good news was that we would have
extended time to plan it together, and I
would give him credit for it. He laid the
whole thing out for us. I had never
[directed] action before this, and the
complexity — the engineering that goes
into building those unique rigs — is
amazing. Pulling off something like [the
motorcycle chase] is an interesting
combination of physics and imagina-
tion. Working with Dan was highly
educational.”
Gilroy adds that the chase takes
place in “four chapters” throughout
Manila, exploding out of the San
Andrés slums and eventually concluding
in the massive transportation center
known as the MRT Metro Manila
Station. Shooting in a location that
Gilroy compares to “the chaos of Times
Square” essentially required the film-
makers to “work in the real world and
blend our people into it.”
Most of the chase was done prac-
tically, with only a handful of digital
enhancements, such as face replace-
ments for stuntmen. Renner and Weisz
did much of the riding and some of the
stunts for the sequence, so the filmmak-
ers used long lenses when they could to
show the actors’ faces. Hughen adds,
“Dan wanted to keep the camera
moving, so even the crash cameras and
the Canon 5Ds that we used were
attached to vehicles or mounted on the
hoods of cars and trucks. Sometimes the
operators were asked to pan onto the
action at the last second — that element
of surprise fit well with the Bourne style.”
Hughen also notes that the Go

Natural Bourne Killer
44
Gathering to film a scene are (from left) gaffer Andy Day, 1st AC Baz Idoine, 2nd AC Beka
Venezia, script supervisor Dianne Dreyer, Elswit, prop assistant Anthony Baldasare, actor Stacy
Keach, director Tony Gilroy, camera operator Andrew Rowlands and 1st AC Tim Metivier.
Mobile system was “our workhorse on the
second unit. With a 15-foot Technocrane
and Libra head mounted on its back, we
were able to run through traffic, some-
times up to 50 miles per hour. Standing
by were three handheld cameras and the
camera bike for each shot we were
involved with.” The second unit typically
ran five operated cameras and, frequently,
two or three more rigged cameras,
including Eyemos and Canon 5Ds
planted in strategic locations for fights
and crashes.
Elswit emphasizes that despite the
traditional filmmaking tools on the
project, two particularly modern conve-
niences helped the filmmakers put Legacy
together. The first was Universal’s deci-
sion to allow them to put their dailies
onto iPads. The cinematographer
concedes that the move remains “some-
what controversial, since everyone prefers
[secure online] systems. But we were
traveling so much that we needed access
to the whole movie, which I had on two
iPads. I carried them with me every-
where, and they were an important
reference not just for the story’s themes,
but also for matching back and forth as
we went from one location to another.
That was really useful.”
The other convenience was the
digital intermediate, a process the film-
makers were still finessing when they
spoke with AC. “The big problem with
this much material [taking place]
outdoors is matching it all — time of
day, weather, color,” says Elswit. “The
chase sequence is about 10 minutes in
the movie, but it was shot over four
weeks. Some shots were done in shade,
some were in the morning, some were in
the afternoon, and so on. The DI can
help you pull all of that together.
“I also needed alpha channels to
pull apart the composites,” the cine-
matographer continues. “It can be really
tricky trying to connect ambient light
coming through windows with plates
that were shot a few weeks later at a real
location. Without a DI, it wouldn’t be
possible to marry those values together
so that they look like they exist in the
same world. When I color-time a
project with a guy as talented as [Stefan
Sonnenfeld], I can have mattes, take the
background out of the window, and play
with it all a bit. I have more control and
more freedom.” ●
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
4-perf Super 35mm and
Digital Capture
Panaflex Millennium XL, Arri 235,
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Eyemo
Panavision Primo, Compact
Zoom; Angenieux
Kodak Vision3 200T 5213,
500T 5219
Digital Intermediate
45
46 September 2012 American Cinematographer
F
ilmed over a period of five years in 25 countries on five
continents, Samsara falls into the category of what
director and cinematographer Ron Fricke once called
“impossible films — non-verbal films that sustain
themselves only on images and music.” Koyaanisqatsi
(1983), directed by Godfrey Reggio and photographed by
Fricke, proved that such a film was possible, and Fricke
continued exploring the concept with partner and collab-
orator Mark Magidson on Baraka (1992). Like its prede-
cessors, Samsara paints a powerful picture of the
interconnectedness that links the world’s sacred grounds,
disaster zones, industrial complexes and natural wonders.
Fricke describes Samsara as “more urban, more
about people than Baraka. We didn’t have what you would
call a script. I like to think of it more as a guided medita-
tion, and Samsara is a meditation on cycles: birth, death
and rebirth.”
Fricke and producer/co-writer Magidson were keen
to return to the 5-perf 65mm format they used for Baraka,
but the 24 fps-capable Todd-AO AP 65 camera systems
Director/cinematographer
Ron Fricke captures stunning
large-format images in 25 countries
for Samsara.
By Iain Stasukevich
•|•
Around the World in
65mm
www.theasc.com September 2012 47
employed on that film were no longer
available. Seeking to explore the
possibility of a digital approach to
image capture, they brought on ASC
associate Chris Reyna to help locate a
suitable camera system. “We started
looking at film and digital cameras,
but in 2006 we had only one 4K
option: the Dalsa Origin,” says
Reyna. “Based on our testing, the
Dalsa offered good image quality, but
Ron didn’t like it because it was too
big, and I didn’t like it because it was
still too prototypical. I knew we could
do better.”
Magidson adds, “When you go
to 25 countries, you want to bring
back the material in a format that’s
going to stand the test of time.
Digital was just not there when we
started. But shooting film and
moving it in and out of so many loca-
tions has its own set of problems.”
The filmmakers turned their
attention to finding a suitable 65mm
film camera. They still had Fricke’s
custom-built 65mm motion-control
system to shoot time-lapse
sequences, and soon learned of the
five 65mm cameras housed at
Panavision’s Woodland Hills, Calif.
complex: two Panaflex System 65
studio cameras, and three high-speed
65mm HR Spinning Mirror Reflex
cameras, commonly known as
HSSMs. It was the smaller, lighter
high-speed cameras, with their 500'
magazines and wide range of frame
rates (2-72 fps), that Fricke sought.
Panavision service technician
Ken Barrows recalls, “The cameras
hadn’t been rented in a long time, so
they were basically in pieces, and I
had to put them back together. It was
a matter of fitting parts together until
I had one complete camera, and then
I started working on the second and
third cameras with the remaining
parts.”
The three HSSM cameras
were hand-built in 1959 using high-
speed Mitchell movements from the
1930s. Since then they had been
extensively modified, particularly the
viewfinding system; the cameras’
original parallax finders were
swapped out for a spinning-mirror
reflex system, newer electronics and a
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Opposite: Chinese dancer Tai Lihua performs the “1,000 Hands Goddess Dance” in Samsara. This page,
top: The film opens with three Balinese girls made up like traditional Tari Legong dancers. Bottom:
Director/cinematographer Ron Fricke filmed views of the Temples of Bagan in Myanmar from the
basket of a hot-air balloon.
48 September 2012 American Cinematographer
standard-definition video tap. For
Samsara, Barrows assembled an
orientable viewfinder with extra parts
from around the office. “I just put the
parts together, and then [Panavision
optical engineer] Dan Sasaki came
along and made everything work
perfectly,” he says.
Sasaki also refurbished a
complete set of Panavision 65mm
prime lenses and retrofitted Fricke’s
Schneider Variogon 140-280mm f5.6
medium-format zoom lens with a
65mm Panavision mount. (The aper-
ture scale of the still lens was not
converted to T-stops.)
The opportunity to shoot
65mm was worth the time and effort.
“Because there are no actors, the
image becomes the main character,”
says Fricke. “We wanted to capture
the essence of the people and places
we were photographing, and a 65mm
camera is the best tool to do that.”
Principal photography began with
Kodak Vision2 500T 5218, 250D
5205 and 50D 5201 film stocks; the
filmmakers switched to Vision3
500T 5219 and 250D 5207 when
those negatives were introduced.

Around the World in 65mm
Fricke (at
viewfinder)
films monks
crafting an
intricate sand
mandala inside
the Thiksey
monastery in
Ladakh, India.
Assisting Fricke
is J.C. Earle,
who also served
as Samsara’s
gaffer, grip,
associate
producer and
assistant editor.
that lens for really bright exteriors.”
Pulling focus while wide open
and at close focus on the 65mm-
format lenses was a good challenge
for Earle. “On the longer focal
lengths, the depth of field can be as
small as a couple of millimeters,” he
says.
One of Fricke’s favorite
portraits — a shot of Marcos Luna,
an ex-gang member living in Los
Angeles — also became one of
Samsara’s most revelatory moments.
“We went to his apartment thinking
it was going to be another ‘stare into
the lens’ kind of setup,” says Fricke.
“We put the Panavision camera [with
a 50mm lens] on the mo-co dolly,
with the jib arm and the pan-and-tilt
head. The idea was to move over the
top of his head and move down his
face to find his eyes, but when his
wife placed this beautiful baby girl in
his arms, he began rocking back and
forth, kissing and cuddling the baby.
The ‘Tattoo Man’ became ‘Tattoo
Daddy,’ which transformed the
portrait into something really
wonderful.” A 12'x12' silk was rigged
overhead to soften the light falling on
A visual motif of Samsara is a
shot in which the subject stares into
the camera lens, unspeaking and
often unblinking, for so long that the
viewer may begin to question who is
watching whom. “All of the portraits
are stylized after the great still
photographers that I love, like Yousuf
Karsh, Irving Penn, Mary Ellen
Mark and Annie Leibovitz,” says
Fricke. “Something is revealed in
their portraiture, and when a person
stares into the camera, if you’re lucky,
you can get the essence of who that
person is.”
The film opens with a striking
close-up of a young Balinese girl
costumed and painted with the
makeup of a traditional Tari Legong
dancer. Fricke, who prefers to shoot
with natural light in the subject’s
natural environment whenever possi-
ble, photographed her hypnotic
dance in a school courtyard in the
small Balinese town of Ubud.
“That was mostly natural light,
with a little bit of grip to bounce here
and there, but [the approach was]
very minimalistic,” says 1st AC J.C.
Earle, who also served as gaffer and
grip when the situation called for it,
as well as associate producer and
assistant editor. “Ron and I placed the
dancers under an eave so they
received a soft, natural front light
from the clouds. Of course, the chal-
lenge with natural light is that it
changes, so if you watch that scene
closely, the contrast ratio moves
around.”
Although Fricke favors the
modified Schneider 140-280mm
zoom for portraiture, its slow f5.6
aperture prevented him from using it
on this particular scene, which was
photographed on a cloudy day with
the 250D stock. Instead, he relied
upon the workhorse Panavision
65mm prime lens package, compris-
ing 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and
150mm lenses. Earle notes, “You can
spot the Schneider lens in the film
because the zoom gives you the feel-
ing of movement, like the portrait of
the Himba woman in Namibia
— when it pushes in, that’s the
Schneider. For it to be sharp, you
want a stop of at least f8, and ideally
an f11, so we were only able to use
A close-up detail of the instrument the monks use to craft their sand paintings.
“We wanted
to capture the
essence of the
people and
places we were
photographing,
and a 65mm
camera is the best
tool to do that.”
www.theasc.com September 2012 49
50 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Luna, and flags were placed close in
for negative fill.
Some of the portraits required
more artificial lighting, such as the
“1,000 Hands Goddess Dance,”
which was performed by renowned
Chinese dancer Tai Lihua at a studio
outside Beijing. A local Chinese crew
was on set to help capture the
sequence. “It’s a performance, so it
had to look more theatrical than any
of the things we photographed under
natural conditions,” says Fricke. Earle
bounced a tungsten 10K off a 20'x20'
UltraBounce for the key light while
800-watt Joker Bugs provided hard,
blue kickers from both sides of the
frame. Carefully placed LEDs helped
break up the inky background with
tiny blue bokehs, which resemble
small stars in the distance.
In another striking sequencee,
“Transfiguration,” French perfor-
mance artist Olivier de Sagazan starts
off as a well-groomed man sitting
behind a desk but uses handfuls of
clay and mud to transform himself
into a horrific, gasping monster.
Fricke and the crew traveled to de
Sagazan’s home on the north coast of
France, where a covered stage was set
up in the artist’s backyard; the
skylights were blacked out and Earle
set up two Joker Bugs with Chimeras:
an 800-watt unit to create a
3
⁄4 frontal

Around the World in 65mm
Top: Moonlight
plays across the
faces of beheaded
statues on Nemrut,
in Turkey. Middle:
Producer/co-writer
Mark Magidson
helps set up
the 65mm
motion-control
system used to
capture this time-
lapse sequence.
Bottom: Fricke
(left) and Earle
ready the
Panavision 65mm
HSSM camera at
the location.
52 September 2012 American Cinematographer
key, and a 400-watt for a backlight.
“[De Sagazan] would do two
performances for us to film, both of
them non-stop with no cuts or
breaks,” Fricke explains. “We knew he
was going to go berserk at some
point, throwing clay and mud every-
where. We loaded up the A camera
with our only 1,000-foot magazine;
as we pushed in on the dolly, I could
see his face alter, and then I would
give the cue to change lenses. The
crew changed the lens, reset the stop,
focus and dolly position in under six
seconds, and then we continued to
push in for the close-ups.”
The dolly, pan/tilt head and
Intel-A-Jib were three components
of a larger motion-control system
designed by the cinematographer,
with some fabrication help from
Magidson’s Culver City-based
Moldex-Metric, Inc., and software
support by Smart Engineering
Systems in Carlsbad, Calif. The dolly
uses a stepper-motor-driven rack-
and-pinion system to pull itself down
a gear belt built into the lightweight
aluminum track; it was designed for
motion-controlled time-lapse photo-
graphy, but Fricke often used it as a
real-time dolly for the Panavision
camera. Additionally, Fricke and
Magidson reengineered an Intel-A-
Jib to support the weight of the
Panavision HSSM and take orders
from the motion-control brain, a
flight case with the stepper drivers for
the dolly, pan, tilt and jib controls.
The centerpiece of the system
is a custom-designed 65mm motion-
control camera, the second genera-
tion Fricke designed to create his
signature time-lapse sequences. The
first camera was fabricated by
Moldex-Metric, Inc. to shoot the 5-
perf 65mm format for Baraka, but it
could also shoot 15-perf 65mm.
“[You] just flop it over [horizontally]
to do 15-perf, then change the aper-
ture plate and stand it up to do 5-
perf,” he says.
Fricke himself built the second
version of the camera for Samsara,
assembling it with a mix of custom-
designed parts and pieces from other
cameras. To create a 65mm magazine
for the camera, Fricke took two 400'
Arri III 35mm magazines, chopped
the back off one and welded it to the

Around the World in 65mm
Fricke (bottom photo, left) and Magidson prepare a shot inside the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
front of the other. Both generations
of the camera are controlled by the
same program that operates the
motion-control system; when shoot-
ing, Magidson was usually found at
the computer interface while Fricke
remote-operated the camera.
Some of the most striking
images in Samsara were time-lapse
sequences captured by the motion-
control system, including moonlight
crossing the faces of beheaded statues
on Nemrut, in Turkey; the night sky
spinning through the branches of a
dead acacia tree in the Namibian
desert; and the setting sun caressing
the facade of Al Khazneh, in Petra. “I
love shooting time-lapse because it
gives you these extraordinary
perspectives on very ordinary things,”
says Fricke.
The speed of the time-lapse
shot is usually determined by the
subject or the action, “but it’s hard to
have a general rule,” says Earle.
“Sometimes it’s determined by how
long we’re in a location. For the night
shots we used a 1-minute exposure,
so the length of the night determined
the length of the shot. You need the
right weather conditions for clouds,
sunrises or sunsets, and you have to
shoot at the right frame rate.”
“The mo-co gave us a really
important creative element to
combine with the more standard
frame-rate footage,” says Magidson.
Despite Fricke’s affection for the
effect, only about 10 percent of
Samsara’s running time comprises
time-lapse cinematography. “We
engineered an interface between the
Panavision camera and the mo-co
system, bringing a wider range of
frame rates and lenses to the palette,”
says Earle.
Programmer Rob Greiner at
This frame grab shows one of a number of baptisms photographed for the film. “Samsara is a
meditation on cycles: birth, death and rebirth,” says Fricke.
53
“I love shooting
time-lapse because
it gives you these
extraordinary
perspectives on
very ordinary
things.”
54 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Smart Engineering Systems created a
manual relay switch on the motion-
control box that triggered a modified
Norris intervalometer on the
Panavision HSSM, allowing it to
function in time-lapse mode or run at
continuous speeds from 2 to 72 fps
(although the filmmakers rarely ran it
above 48 fps) versus the motion-
control camera’s 1 fps maximum
frame rate. The widest lens available
for the custom motion-control
camera is a 30mm f3.5 Hasselblad
fisheye, “and Ron didn’t like the
fisheye look,” Earle remarks.
“Panavision’s 24mm T3.5 rectilinear
wide-angle ended up being our
favorite lens.”
In deciding where to shoot,
accessibility was a key consideration
for the filmmakers, as many of the
locations were either physically diffi-
cult to reach or endure, or were other-
wise off-limits to outsiders.
Nevertheless, “we picked the places
we did because you’ll always come
back with great stuff,” says Fricke.
Local production companies often
coordinated with Fricke and
Magidson to scout, cast, facilitate
access to a location, or supply addi-
tional crew.
On the first leg of production,
Fricke and Earle travelled to Mecca
with the intent of photographing
Muslim pilgrims and their circumam-
bulation around the ancient Kaaba
during Ramadan prayers. “Accessing
that location took more than a year,”
says Magidson.
Fricke enthuses, “It’s just the
most amazing event. There must have
been four million people there in and
around the mosque.” The filmmakers
found themselves with the motion-
control and Panavision cameras atop a

Around the World in 65mm
Top: The night sky spins through the branches of these acacia trees during a time-lapse sequence
filmed in the Namibian desert. Bottom: A nighttime time-lapse sequence over Los Angeles was shot
from a helicopter with a Gyron mount from Nettman Systems.
soft egg crates evolved
more light, tighter control
“Luscious, enveloping light exactly where you want it and not where you don’t.
I will want to use CUfocus on every show I do from now on.”
DP Steven Fierberg, ASC
“ The CUfocus played a crucial role on Body of Proof, by allowing us to use large difusion frames while
minimizing problematic refections in our windows. The design is simple, but brilliant.”
Derrick Kolus, Chief Lighting Technician
“With CUfocus, I can place a key light close to my subject providing the soft wrap that I expect and still have signifcant
fall-of in the background - especially when challenged with limited space.”
DP Matt Mindlin
With the CU Focus, I can place my key lig W
lighttools.com/photometric
56 September 2012 American Cinematographer
new hotel/apartment building right
next to the Sacred Mosque. However,
the vantage point was reserved for a
powerful family, and the production’s
local fixer had failed to gain all the
necessary permissions to film there.
“I humbly said to [the sheik]
that what was happening here was so
beautiful that the whole world should
be able to see it,” Fricke recounts. “He
said, ‘You’re welcome to stay and film
after prayer time.’ I don’t know if I
was being a good diplomat or not, but
I nearly jumped off the building
when he said that. I was really afraid
of losing one of the best sequences of
the film.” Fortunately, without having
to jump, Fricke was able to reach an
agreement with the family and get
the shots that appear in the final film.
There were also physically
demanding locations, such as
Ladakh, India, where the crew braved
freezing temperatures and a 12,000'
altitude to reach Thiksey monastery,
where they filmed monks crafting an
intricate sand mandala. “Then we
almost gassed ourselves to death in a
volcanic sulfur mine in Eastern Java,”
Fricke adds. “That was pure poison
gas. We choked and our eyes burned
when the wind changed and blew
into our faces.”
Far removed from the hell of
the sulfur mines were the majestic
Temples of Bagan in Myanmar,
which Fricke filmed from the basket
of a hot-air balloon. Aerials over Los
Angeles were shot from a helicopter
with the Panavision HSSM on a
Gyron mount from Nettman
Systems, undercranked at 1
1
⁄2 fps,
which Fricke calls “my favorite

Around the World in 65mm
Top: This tattooed couple was among the many portraits taken for the film. Fricke muses, “When a
person stares into the camera, if you’re lucky, you can get the essence of who that person is.”
Bottom: French performance artist Olivier de Sagazan sits at a desk before transforming himself into a
mud monster in the “Transfiguration” scene.
58 September 2012 American Cinematographer
continuous time-lapse frame rate. It’s
also great for filming clouds.”
“The fact that the cameras ran
as long and steady as they did under
those conditions is a real testament to
their engineering,” says Reyna. On
the rare occasion a Panavision camera
did go down, it was up to Fricke and
Earle to make their repairs in the
field, without technical support or
even a manual to guide them. Some
breakdowns weren’t detected until
after the fact; for example, in Israel, a
part came loose inside the Panavision
HSSM, “and when we opened up the
camera, there were flecks of ground
metal inside the body,” says Earle.
“The camera had been running at
high speed with a loose part, grinding
itself down, but the film still came out
fine!”
The film crew primarily
consisted of Fricke, Magidson, Earle,
2nd assistant Alex Falk (or a local
assistant in his absence) and line
producer Myles Connelly. Operating
with a minimal location crew slowed
the filmmakers down in some ways
— particularly when there were two
or more cameras to set up — but it
was also an advantage when they
needed to get in and out of a location
quickly, like in Hawaii, where the
entire trip lasted all of 18 hours.
“There’s a speed and efficiency that
comes with a small crew, but you
really have to manage the effort,
because if you lose one guy, you’re
really in trouble,” says Connelly.
“Everyone’s working flat out all the
time, wearing multiple hats and
constantly being exposed to extreme
conditions.” After landing at a given
location, Fricke might spend most of
his time looking for a single shot,
then only roll one take, “and if that
was the take, he’s ready to move on,”
Earle remarks.
“When you’re out shooting for
years, like we did for Samsara, you get
a feel for where to put the camera,”
Fricke explains. “You can pre-see it.
If you’re not feeling it and you’re not
seeing it, then don’t shoot it.”
The cinematographer’s senses

Around the World in 65mm
Top: Workers navigate a volcanic sulfur mine in Eastern Java. Bottom: The student body moves as one
at the Tagou Wu Shu Academy in Zhenzhou City, Henan Province, China.
were finely tuned enough to bring
more than 20 hours of footage to the
editing room in Los Angeles.
FotoKem in Burbank transferred the
65mm negative at 1920x1080 resolu-
tion on a Cintel Millennium datacine
for the offline edit. Fricke, Magidson
and Earle cut the film using ProRes
422 HQ media in Final Cut Studio 2
before sending their EDLs back to
FotoKem, where 65mm selects were
digitized at 8K on an Imagica 12K
Bigfoot 65mm scanner in the first
step of a post workflow modeled after
Baraka’s 2008 restoration. The 8K
files, at 200MB per frame, were
backed up and simultaneously down-
rezzed to 4K for visual effects and
cleanup work. According to Reyna,
the only times 70mm prints were
struck from the original camera nega-
tive were for the “definitive
doublecheck” for vignetting and focus
in selected shots.

Around the World in 65mm
60
The
filmmakers
photographed
this high-angle
view of
Muslim
pilgrims in
Mecca from
the vantage of
a hotel next to
the Sacred
Mosque.
FotoKem’s Digital Film
Services department; its subsidiary,
Spy Post; and Venice, Calif.-based
Griffiti Studios used a variety of
tools, including Apple’s Shake,
Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Revival
and Autodesk’s Inferno, to stabilize
aerial shots, smooth and paint out
time-lapse artifacts, and dust-bust.
Colorist John Persichetti performed
the 4K digital intermediate on a
FilmLight Baselight at Sony Pictures
Colorworks in Culver City.
Fricke and Magidson agreed
early on that there wouldn’t be any
70mm prints of Samsara, and even
though FotoKem would strike a
number of 35mm film prints from the
4K master, 4K digital projection was
deemed the best means of screening
the film. “We knew that when we
finished the film there wouldn’t be a
lot of 70mm-capable theaters where
we could show it,” says Reyna.
“Digital [projection] was the appro-
priate technological and aesthetic
choice, especially since there are now
more than 11,000 4K-capable
theaters in North America alone.”
“Even though [this is] not an
effects film, bringing the footage into
a digital realm allowed us to do
things we just couldn’t do in film, and
when you scan at 8K all the quality of
the large 65mm negative is contained
in the digital file,” says Magidson.
“Basically, we’ve taken a 50-year-old
camera system and combined it with
cutting-edge digital technology. It
worked for us because of the nature
of this kind of filmmaking. From the
very beginning we wanted the high-
est quality, most beautiful images we
could possibly make.” ●
61
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.39:1
5-perf 65mm
Panavision 65mm HSSM,
Custom 65mm time-lapse
Kodak Vision2 500T 5218,
250D 5205, 50D 5201;
Vision3 500T 5219, 250D 5207
Panavision, Hasselblad,
Schneider
4K Digital Intermediate
62 September 2012 American Cinematographer
U.S.
animation studio Laika attracted attention for
breaking new ground with its first feature, Coraline
(AC Feb. ’09), and its second, Chris Butler and
Sam Fell’s ParaNorman, advances the 3-D stop-
motion-animation genre further still. Written by Butler, the
story follows a boy whose ability to communicate with the
Tristan Oliver helps to create a
live-action sensibility for
ParaNorman, a 3-D stop-motion
feature about a bullied boy who
saves his town from a witch’s curse.
By Rachael K. Bosley
•|•
deceased makes him a social pariah, until everyone in his town
realizes he might be the only one who can avert the supernat-
ural tsunami that threatens to destroy the town on its 300th
anniversary.
English cinematographer Tristan Oliver traveled across
the pond to lead the camera department on ParaNorman, his
first 3-D feature. He was attracted not only by the script,
which Butler has described as “John Carpenter meets John
Hughes,” but also by the prospect of working with Butler and
Fell — he’d been friends with Fell for 20 years, since their
freelance days at Aardman. Preproduction and production
kept Oliver at Laika’s studio in Hillsboro, Ore., for nearly two
years, 84 weeks of which were devoted to principal photogra-
phy.
AC spent a day touring the set near the end of the
shoot, and Oliver, who had previously entertained an AC visit
in England for the Wallace & Gromit feature (AC Oct. ’05),
wryly noted, “It’s the same the world over, really: a very large
shed full of tired-looking people and lots of small things.” A
Hair-Raising Heroics
www.theasc.com September 2012 63
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few months later, while in Los Angeles
to grade the picture at Technicolor
Hollywood, he had time to discuss the
project in detail.
American Cinematographer: On
our set visit, Sam and Chris talked
about their desire to avoid a visual style
that simply ‘presented the animation’
and instead give this movie a live-
action sensibility.
Tristan Oliver: That was a big
attraction for me. We were always given
a fair amount of free reign at Aardman
to make things look the way we wanted,
but there was always the caveat that you
had to see the animation, and that tends
to flatten things off because you have to
put in more light. We wanted the envi-
ronments in ParaNorman to look as they
would in the real world. For example,
day exteriors look lit by a single sun
source, and some interiors look lit only
with existing light, with some of the
frame very dark and some of it overex-
posed. Most of our visual references
were live-action movies, including
Atonement [AC Dec. ’07], Pulp Fiction,
and the martial-arts movies Hero [AC
Sept. ’03], Crouching Tiger [Hidden
Dragon; AC Jan. ’01] and House of Flying
Daggers [AC Dec. ’04]. For me, another
reference was Road to Perdition [AC
Aug. ’02], which I absolutely love as a
movie, and which is spectacular in the
way it braves that dark/light juxtaposi-
tion.
Several shots use shallow focus
to isolate Norman in the frame. That’s
unconventional in photographing
animation, isn’t it?
Oliver: Yes. The temptation with
animation is typically to try and keep
everything in sharp focus, so I’d never
been able to work with very shallow
depth-of-field and with longer focal-
length lenses, and I really wanted to do
that. Our inspiration for that was the
camerawork in George Washington
[2000], which we liked for the intimacy
the filmmakers achieved with the kids,
and the way they used tilt-shift lenses to
isolate them in the frame. But I was
adamant that we had to keep it very
limited as a look because every TV show
and every commercial seems to be shot
like that now, with extremely shallow
depth-of-field banded up the middle of
Opposite page: Norman prepares for the daily torment of walking past the other kids to enter school.
This page, top: A statue commemorating the Witch of Blithe Hollow towers over Norman and Neal.
Bottom: After taking shelter from a pack of zombies, Norman tries to return a wayward ear to its
undead owner without attracting attention.
64 September 2012 American Cinematographer

Hair-Raising Heroics
the frame. I wanted to use it in a very
specific way, just to emphasize Norman’s
alienation. There are maybe 18-20 shots
that use it, and sometimes the effect is
extreme; sometimes only a plane of the
face is in focus. Because we were at the
macro end of the lens, we were actually
working at the sort of stop you’d
normally use to achieve a normal depth-
of-field in live action, around a T4. In
animation, we typically work at T11 or
T16!
Did using focus that way
complicate the 3-D at all?
Oliver: It’s rather frowned upon
to do that in stereo, but I found that the
rulebook you get that says you have to
do this or that with 3-D is actually
nonsense. You just have to be careful
about how you do some things.
What were some of the other
things you had to approach carefully?
Oliver: I did a lot of testing to see
what I could do in stereo with the 2.35
frame. This was my first opportunity to
shoot animation in ’Scope, which was
really lovely. The received wisdom is that
stereo works a lot better with a centrally
framed, square-looking picture; the idea
is that if you want something to come
through the screen plane, it has to be free
of the constraints of the frame. But we
wanted to use 2.35 properly, and we hit a
few stumbling blocks along the way. You
can frame in thirds very nicely, so we’d
often have something, such as a prop,
very foregrounded, and then have a char-
acter more central to the frame. But we
found the items we were using as fram-
ing devices would really upset the stereo
if they were too near [the screen],
because the separation between the left
and right eyes gets rather troublesome if
you’ve got something too close. We had
to learn ways around that. Sometimes
we’d oversize the prop and push it farther
back in the set. Eventually, we decided
we were happy to let [the foreground
object] be an abstract thing rather than a
recognizable thing. That’s fine, because
then your eye is looking where it should
be looking.
On set we noticed you were
mainly using the same lens package you
used on Fantastic Mr. Fox, Nikon
primes and modified Cooke 5:1 zooms,
but you chose the Canon 5D Mark II
this time. How did that work out?
Oliver: I shot Mr. Fox on the
Nikon D3 [AC Dec. ’09], but I chose the
Canon for this because the animators
liked the image quality of its HD Live
View, which Nikon didn’t have at the
time. We bought 50 of them. We
captured in raw format, and our 2.35
crop [from the 21.1-megapixel
36x24mm CMOS sensor] gave us an
image that was over 4K, and that was
busted down to 2K for visual-effects
work. The Canon’s raw file has quite a lot
of latitude, and I was able to do a lot with
it, but the camera isn’t fabulous. We had
a lot of problems with density shift and a
fluctuating magenta flashing of the chip
depending on the temperature in the
studio and the shutter speed. Bizarrely, it
was that kind of magenta shift you get
with film when there are tiny, unidentifi-
Cinematographer Tristan Oliver preps some backlight for the main character.
66 September 2012 American Cinematographer
able leaks in the camera, or if the nega-
tive’s been a bit flashed before you shoot
on it. This was the digital equivalent!
How did you assemble the crew
for your first U.S. shoot? Did you
bring anyone over from England?
Oliver: I brought my first AC,
Gunnar Heidar, from Iceland, and one
of my lighting cameramen, James
Lewis, from the U.K. They both
worked with me on Mr. Fox. Stop-
frame is a small world, so I worked with
a number of familiar faces. I inherited
some crew from Coraline as well. I had a
very, very hard job finding women for
the crew. It’s the 21st century, and I
think it’s ridiculous there aren’t more
women in camera crews, and I also
knew that spending two years with an
all-male crew in a big, sweaty box could
get a bit ‘locker room.’ I ran a trainee
program, which I normally do, and got
a couple of women in to work as trainee
ACs. They learned very quickly and did
a fantastic job. I found the electricians
here to be absolutely fabulous — proac-
tive, imaginative and intelligent. I’ve
got good sparks in the U.K., but
they’re difficult to find, and there’s a
small group I hang onto very zealously.
Our micro-lighting specialist on
ParaNorman, Matt DeLeu, was bril-
liant; he managed to source the most
fantastic stuff for me. He found a color-
correct alternative for the Micro Kino
fixtures I used to use by the dozen,
which are no longer made, and he also
built a set of working miniature HDTV
sets for a shot of a storefront. Their
screen size was as small as 1 inch, and
each of them ran a different clip.
We had 50 shooting units. I’d
typically light up to 14 units myself, and
I supervised four other lighting camera-
men, James Lewis, John Ashlee Prat,
Mark Stewart and Chris Peterson, who
came on at various points during the
shoot. They’re all very good, they have

Hair-Raising Heroics
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s
.
Top: The RGB aura
visible on the
person at far right
in this early color
photo, taken by
Sergei
Mikhailovich
Prokudin-Gorskii
between 1910-
1915, inspired the
filmmakers’
approach to
ghosts. Bottom:
Norman’s late
grandmother
exhibits the effect.
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Hair-Raising Heroics
extensive stop-frame experience, and
they all took direction. I made up mood
reels, reference reels, and every member
of the camera crew watched those to get
an idea of the vibe of whatever sequence
was starting up on the floor. Then, I’d
sit with the lighting cameramen for a
sequence and talk them through exactly
what I wanted. I’d see every frame that
came off the floor and give them notes
appropriate to what they were doing.
The problem with stop-frame is that it’s
easy to form these tight little teams, and
they can end up making five different
short films that you then have to bolt
together into a feature. To avoid that, I
do a lot of top-down supervision, and
my crewing structure is quite loose. My
camera assistants and my sparks move
around the studio depending on where
they’re needed.
The rapid-prototyping machine
Laika uses was able to print in color
this time around, whereas it could only
print in white for Coraline. How did
that affect your lighting for the
puppets?
Oliver: Because we could print in
color, all the texture inherent in the
prototyping process went into the face.
That ‘skin’ texture was the first thing I
tested. It’s an epoxy resin that has gran-
ularity to it, like very fine sand. I was
somewhat worried about how it would
take light, but actually, it’s rather lovely.
Clay is very matte, and if you go up the
lighter end of the spectrum, it very
rapidly overexposes, whereas this mate-
rial has a nice, eggshell-style sheen. It
gives a lot of subsurface scatter and
wraparound that’s more like shooting
human flesh.
The ghosts in the movie all have
a vibrant, colorful aura. What was the
inspiration for that effect?
Oliver: A very early Russian color
process, actually. We didn’t want to do
our ghosts as your classic transparent
people. I’m very interested in early color
photography, and I found these amazing
photos by [Sergei Mikhailovich]
Prokudin-Gorskii, who shot RGB
black-and-white separation plates in
quick succession and then projected
them through filters to create color
images. His subjects were often people,
and they just about sat still long enough
for the three plates, but in some shots
they moved slightly, and that movement
gave them this slight chromatic rainbow
edge. Chris and Sam really liked that, so
Top: Alvin, the
school bully,
changes his tune
when zombies
rise from the local
cemetery and
threaten him and
Norman. Bottom:
Animation rigger
David Pugh preps
a scene in the
Town Hall
archives.
we used it for all the ghosts. The aura
was CGI, but the look was driven by this
100-year-old process, and the puppet
animation underneath was done by
hand. Another one of Prokudin-
Gorskii’s photos [“Molding of an
Artistic Casting,” 1910] informed the
look we gave the interior of Mr.
Prenderghast’s house, which is a kind of
wrecked shack full of rubbish. We
created incredibly hot windows using
tungsten Fresnels, and they serve as the
only source in this very dark environ-
ment.
Things get more theatrical
when the zombies enter the picture.
How did you approach those scenes?
Oliver: Yes, there are conventions
you have to adhere to when you’ve got
zombies [laughs]. The film essentially
has two looks: there’s the ultra-realistic
everyday world, and then the zombies
turn up and the camerawork gets rather
obvious, with crash zooms, Dutching
during zooms, and bounce stops. We
wanted to get away from the green-and-
red feel so many zombie movies have, so
we used a combination of acid yellow
and violet lighting on our zombies. For
our night street scenes in town, we
referenced these fantastic photorealistic
paintings of New York streets at night.
Every light source — shop windows,
traffic lights, headlights — was a differ-
ent color, and light was everywhere. We
did our night exteriors like that and
punched it up a bit by oversaturating the
colors, and that enabled us to bring the
zombies into town and keep colored
light on them; it was perfectly moti-
vated. Also, as you might expect, we
reserved our more extreme use of stereo
for the zombie scenes. We actually keep
the stereo quite shallow through most of
the movie.
How did you achieve the strik-
ing shot in the forest that takes the
witch’s POV as she flies in and attacks
Norman?
Oliver: That’s a fabulous shot
that was always in the storyboard. We
see Norman through the woods from a
great distance, and he’s tiny in the frame,
70 September 2012 American Cinematographer

Hair-Raising Heroics
Right (clockwise
from top): Lead
motion-control
operator Dean
Holmes, camera
assistant Kristina
Schulte-Eversum,
caster Chris
Walker and head
of armature
Jeanne McIvor
work on a
sequence in
which a zombie
attacks a van
carrying a search
party looking for
Norman. Behind
the van is a
policewoman
giving chase on a
motorcycle.
Below: A frame
showing the
zombie’s attack.

Hair-Raising Heroics
72 September 2012 American Cinematographer
and then the camera flies all the way in
and ends on his ear, which fills the
frame. We used an enormous, cruciform
motion-control rig that had an arm with
a 19-foot reach. I put the Cooke 5:1
[20-100mm] on the camera, and on
either side of the lens, to represent the
witch, I mounted a pair of 50-watt
dichroic 12-volt lights that flickered via
the Dragon DMX lighting control. We
brought them up as she approached
Norman, and his ear is almost nuclear by
the time we land on it! We flew the rig
in the whole of its 19 feet plus the entire
range of the zoom in order to get the
shot.
The witch looks like a tiny elec-
trical storm, with trails of light coming
off her hair and body. How was she
created?
Oliver: She was a puppet, and all
of her faces were printed, but the visual-
effects team [led by Brian Van’t Hul]
enhanced her hair and wardrobe to
produce those electrical trails, and we
had to create interactive lighting on set
for her scenes. Shortly after she flies into
Norman’s ear in the forest, she attacks
him and splits into four to do a ring-
around-the-rosy around him so he can’t
get away. To create that lighting effect
on Norman, I built a steel frame about 2
feet high that had four arms and was
slightly flared, like a Christmas tree. We
put a string of 12-volt 10-watt tungsten
bulbs, which we call ‘grains of rice,’ along
each arm and placed the frame over
Norman and on a rotator. As it rotated,
we shot him from a low angle on a
28mm lens so we could get a clear field
of view without [the rig] crossing his
face. We also had to pull a matte off
him, so the rig had to not only rotate,
but also move up and down. It would
come down, rotate as we were taking a
frame; and then it would go up, the
lighting would change to illuminate the
greenscreen behind him, and we’d retake
the frame; and then it would come down
and be ready for the next frame. And, of
course, it had to do that for left eye and
then right eye! The problem with go
motion in stereo is that you have to take
each frame on the go twice, once for left
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74 September 2012 American Cinematographer

Hair-Raising Heroics
and once for right, and that’s confound-
ing to Kuper [motion-control] soft-
ware. It was very tricky, and there was a
lot of cursing and sweating.
How did you develop the look of
Norman’s flashbacks to the 18th
century?
Oliver: Sometimes the reality of
the world around Norman starts to give
way, and he sees into another time
through a sort of disintegrating veil. We
took a strong line with most of the
details in the film, but there were a few
things, including these transitions to the
past, that were always very sketchily
conceived. We tested various effects,
and one of the things we played with a
lot was film getting stuck in a projector
gate and burning away. We came up
with something similar for the transi-
tions, but it looks a little bubblier. It’s an
ember edge that crawls away into the
corners of the image, and it’s entirely
CG. We also tested effects for the over-
all look of the flashbacks. The film has a
very saturated palette, with lots of
primary color, and we wanted Norman’s
visions to look different from that but
not ‘tricksy.’ We eventually decided to
do it as a grading effect with
[Technicolor colorist] Tim Peeler. I
played around with a lot of, in hind-
sight, rather unimaginative things
[laughs], and we tried various LUTs, but
they never looked right. Eventually, I
suggested we try a bleach-bypass feel.
No two people imagine that the same
way, so that led to more experimenting.
Finally, we arrived at what I think of as
bleach bypass: we put a lot of black into
the reds, we desaturated it, and we
upped the contrast. I graded an entire
Top: A key scene between Norman and a
girl named Aggie is set in a peaceful
meadow. Oliver’s diagram of the lighting
appears on page 72. Bottom: Oliver and
production designer Nelson Lowry confer
while filming the scene.
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flashback that way and showed the
directors, and they loved it, so we
applied it to all the other flashbacks. It
works really nicely because we go from a
snappy, colorful palette into a different
kind of palette, but the contrast stays the
same. We’ve just given the look a differ-
ent temperature, a different season.
The final flashback, which
transports Norman and the witch to a
meadow, feels different from every-
thing else in the movie.
Oliver: I wanted it to be
completely different, and it’s the
sequence I’m most pleased with because
I managed to do it very simply: I used a
big keylight and just feathered in the
rest. [See diagram on page 72.] The film
cuts from a present-day scene of
extreme violence to this very tender
moment set 300 years earlier, as this
little girl materializes next to Norman in
a sunny meadow surrounded by trees.
The whole sequence has about 40 shots,
and the nature of the storyboards called
for a set of impossible size. The back-
drop would’ve had to be 200 feet wide
to accommodate the width of the shots
we wanted to do! So, I had to work out
a way of lighting so we could keep the
camera pointed in the same direction,
but it could serve for any direction, and
I needed to be able to move the keylight
around and keep track of where it had to
be in order for the shadows to fall

Hair-Raising Heroics
76
Animator Gabe Sprenger creates some action for a scene involving Mr. Prenderghast,
Norman’s great uncle.
correctly. The backdrop we built was
60-70 feet long, and it had no visible
end; it’s essentially a row of trees that
fades away into an overexposed void.
The art department built four rows of
trees, and I overexposed everything that
lay behind them to the point where it
started to bleed and the rear-most layer
of trees became rather phantom-like,
with a nebulous, streaky quality. I shot
clean, white light for the majority of it,
adding a tiny amount of [Lee] 007 Pale
Yellow in the far background. Using a
map for the sun’s position and a map of
the children’s trajectory, I just wheeled
around our sun, a Mole-Richardson
10K, as they moved through the
meadow. The scene has a very soft,
rather magical feel to it. It works.
What’s your assessment of your
first experience with 3-D filmmaking?
Oliver: I’m now in the midst of
the 3-D grade, and I find the limitations
of the process quite depressing. We got
the material into Technicolor and did
the 2-D grade for DCP, and it was reve-
latory — we were finally seeing it at full
[2K] resolution after screening dailies as
8-bit JPEGs for two years. Then we got
the LUT for the filmout and saw a test
print, and that looked great, too. But
everything gets fantastically darker with
3-D because of the filter [in front of the
projector], the glasses and the theaters’
practice of dimming the projector bulb
to the lowest level possible to prolong
bulb life and cut costs. With 3-D, which
is designed to project at 6 foot-lamberts,
you’re now grading for projection at 3½
foot-lamberts as opposed to 16 [for
35mm] or 14 [for 2-D DCP]. At 3½,
the clipping in the highlights is a major
problem. I’m very happy with how
ParaNorman looks in 2-D, but achiev-
ing a similar picture in 3-D is virtually
impossible.
I’m not convinced stereo lends
much to a movie because if it’s subtle,
within 10 minutes you cease to register
it, and if it’s in your face, it makes you
feel ill. With Coraline, I saw its potential
to add size and dimension to stop-
frame, where you’re always sort of aware
of a back wall. I thought stereo could
take the eye a bit farther away and make
you think you’re in a fully dimensional
world rather than a cartoon world, and I
like to think that’s how it works in
ParaNorman. But I haven’t yet seen a
movie that benefited from 3-D as much
as it benefited from a good script. ●
77
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
3-D Digital Capture
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Nikon, Cooke, Canon Tilt-Shift
78 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Optimizing
Digital-Camera
Workflows
www.theasc.com September 2012 79
T
he motion-picture industry is
evolving at a lightning pace. Since
the onset of the digital revolution
at the start of the new millennium,
scores of technological advances have
significantly changed the way screen
images are created and exhibited. These
digital leaps have changed the shape and
makeup of crews, the tools used to
capture images, the technology involved
in movie displays both in theaters and at
home, and, most certainly, the work-
flows that take projects from postpro-
duction to exhibition.
Working hard to stay at the
forefront of these shifts are the ASC’s
Technology Committee and its various
subcommittees. Chaired by Curtis
Clark, ASC, the Technology Com-
mittee spends a great deal of time inves-
tigating advances in technology to keep
the ASC ahead of the curve.
In the new frontier of digital, the
game changes constantly. The combined
forces of Sony and George Lucas intro-
duced the industry’s first 24p HD digi-
tal cinema camera, the Sony
HDW-F900, in 2000. Since then, a
remarkable evolution has taken place,
with newer and better cameras arriving
on the market every year. We’ve gradu-
ated from 1920x1080 to 4K and beyond.
Sensor technology, compression tech-
nology and recording media have all
improved by quantum leaps over the P
h
o
t
o
s

b
y

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a
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l

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n
t
.
Opposite and this
page, top: Camera
operator Terry
Bowen (wearing
orange hat) lines
up a shot during
production of the
Image Control
Assessment Series,
which was
organized by the
ASC and the
Producers Guild of
America. This
page, bottom:
Robert Primes, ASC
checks the frame
with an Arri 435
Xtreme camera.
The ASC and the
Producers Guild
collaborate on the
Image Control
Assessment Series to
seek industry-wide
image-finishing
standards.
By Jay Holben
•|•
past 12 years. In 2006, just over 12
percent of films released theatrically
were originated digitally; in 2011, that
number rose to 35 percent. While this
means that 65 percent of last year’s
theatrically released movies were shot
on film, the significant jump in digital
origination shows no signs of slowing.
One industry fixture keeping
close tabs on the trends is Lori
McCreary, the CEO for Revelations
Entertainment, the production com-
pany she co-founded with actor/
producer Morgan Freeman. McCreary’s
credits as a producer include 10 Items or
Less, The Contract, Invictus, Freeman’s
documentary television series Through
the Wormhole, and the upcoming
Rendezvous with Rama. She also serves
as treasurer of the Producers Guild of
America and founded the PGA’s
Motion Picture Technology Com-
mittee, which was inspired by the ASC’s
example. As a former computer tech-
nologist with a computer-science degree
from the University of California-Los
Angeles, McCreary understands the
importance of tracking new technolo-
gies. To that end, she has maintained a
close relationship with Clark and
frequently seeks his counsel on the
advancement of camera technologies.
Some years ago, Clark invited
McCreary to attend the monthly
Technology Committee meetings at the
ASC Clubhouse, and the producer
found the experience to be a revelation.
“The guys at the ASC were so techni-
cally proficient, more so than anyone
else I had known,” McCreary attests.
“Cinematographers are the people who
know what’s going on in the tech side of
the business, and things are changing
and evolving very quickly. Things used
to be easy: a camera was just a camera,
and we knew how to budget for a
camera. We’d bring a director and a
production designer onto a production
and then bring on a cinematographer to
pick the film stock, the lenses and the
lighting, but we could estimate what all
of that would [cost] in a budget before
they came on. Today, the game is very
different. Every camera is a different
tool with its own subtle attributes, and
every camera requires a different kind of
workflow. It’s now impossible to even
budget a film until we know what
camera and workflow we’re going to be
using. How are we screening dailies?
Are we setting ‘the color’ on set? How
are we delivering to editorial? There are
so many decisions that have to be made,
and they all lead down different paths.
It’s very important to bring in a cine-
matographer during the extremely early

Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows
Frederic Goodich, ASC, who directed the night scene, walks his actors through their blocking.
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80
stages of a production to make these
decisions. Making a decision about a
camera before a cinematographer is
involved takes the creativity and control
out of their hands, and I’d never do
that.”
McCreary was instrumental in
organizing the first ASC/PGA collabo-
ration that led to the 2009 Camera
Assessment Series (AC June and Sept.
’09), an intensive analysis of various
digital cinema cameras. The test
included the Arri D-21, Panasonic’s AJ-
HPX3700, Panavision’s Genesis, the
Red One, Sony’s F23 and F35, the
Thomson Grass Valley Viper, and, as a
point of reference, an Arri 435 captur-
ing images with Kodak Vision2 250T
5217, Vision3 500T 5219, Vision2
250D 5205 and Vision3 250D 5207.
Much was learned from the tests,
but much has changed since 2009, and
this led Clark and Camera Technology
Subcommittee Chairman David
Stump, ASC to reteam with McCreary
and arrange a second series of tests. This
time, however, the testing wasn’t
focused primarily on the cameras, but
on their workflows and how they
performed within a rigorously defined,
common color-management system.
“About a year after we did the
first test, producers began begging for
another assessment,” McCreary recalls.
“The cameras were changing so quickly.
The images from all of them were quite
spectacular, but from a producer’s point
of view, the biggest problem was the
uncertainty about the workflows. What
could we do to present an industry-wide
guideline that would help eliminate
some of this uncertainty? How could we
get these beautiful images from the set
all the way through distribution in the
most streamlined way? And how could
we control those images in the best,
most efficient way possible?”
ASC associate Leon Silverman,
former president of LaserPacific and
current general manager of the Digital
Studio at Walt Disney Studios, played
an instrumental role in both assessment
tests. While pondering these new and
varied post paths, he dubbed them
81
82 September 2012 American Cinematographer
“snowflake workflows” — no two are
ever alike. The urgent need to eliminate
these vicissitudes led the organizers of
the second assessment series to focus on
image control, a priority reflected in the
name of the new test: the Image Control
Assessment Series.
The intent was not to compare
the imaging qualities of the cameras, but
to find a single, standardized color-
management architecture that would
work with any new camera system,
preserve the integrity of the image
throughout the entire post workflow,
and eliminate the need to “reinvent the
wheel” with each new camera system,
on each new production and at each
post facility.
ASC President Stephen
Lighthill notes, “The Camera
Assessment Series was an assessment of
camera technology at the time of the
test, and secondarily an observation of
the workflow challenges each camera
presented. The Image Control
Assessment Series was primarily a test
of workflow and secondarily an obser-
vation — not a test — of the perfor-
mance of the most commonly used
large-sensor cameras during the
production of scenes that might be typi-
cal of TV or feature narratives.”
In the Camera Assessment
Series, the ASC and PGA applied the
most standardized workflow available at
the time, which involved scanning and
transforming all of the footage from
each camera to a 2K 10-bit Cineon
DPX workflow. Some criticized this
decision, maintaining that it severely
handcuffed the film stocks (by scanning
at 4K and converting to 2K rather than
maintaining 4K resolution) and the

Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows
Camera operator
David Knight
frames the action
for the night-
exterior scene,
which was set “in
the rain with fire
and point-source
lights in neon and
flashy colors,” says
David Stump, ASC,
who served as
supervising
cinematographer
alongside ASC
President Stephen
Lighthill. “We
went out of our
way to write
scripts that would
make each of the
two shots feel
much more
cinematic while
still stressing the
cameras to the
fullest extent in
both day and
night situations.”
digital formats (because of the color-
space limitations of the 10-bit Cineon
files). The Cineon files were created to
emulate the color space of print film, but
they simply could not handle the larger
gamut ranges of modern film stocks and
many of the new digital cameras.
“Basically, the Camera Assess-
ment Series taught us that Cineon DPX
was quickly becoming obsolete,” says
Stump. “When we did those tests, it was
— and still mostly is — the de facto
workflow for finishing, but the scope of
Cineon DPX is now far too limiting,
and we knew we needed to find some-
thing much better.” In pursuit of that
goal, Stump and Lighthill served as
“über DPs” on the ICAS tests, supervis-
ing the individual cinematographers
assigned to each camera during the
shoot.
Clark observes, “We knew we
needed to change the post workflow to
accommodate an expanded color gamut
and wider dynamic range for any further
assessments we did beyond the CAS.
The Academy Color Encoding System,
known as ACES, had matured since our
2009 test, and we, as a group, became
much more aware of what it is and what
it is doing. We therefore decided that it
would be the foundation for the Image
Control Assessment Series so we could
use the expanded color gamut of ACES
color space. We knew ACES would be
able to accommodate the wider dynamic
range and greater color bit depth of the
newer digital cinema cameras, and that
it would also better utilize film’s full
potential and protect its attributes. We
also changed from a 2K pipeline to a 4K
pipeline to bring it up to the current
parameters of high-end digital cinema.”
ACES utilizes a 16-bit floating-
point OpenEXR file container with an
extraordinarily wide color gamut whose
range easily encompasses all existing
color spaces. To utilize the ACES
container, footage from each camera
would be processed through an Input
Device Transform generally created by
(or in close cooperation with) each
camera’s specific manufacturer. These
IDTs served to translate each camera’s
84 September 2012 American Cinematographer
native color space into the 16-bit float-
ing-point color space of the ACES
OpenEXR format.
The cameras used in the ICAS
test were the Arri Alexa, Canon’s C300,
the Red Epic, and Sony’s F3 and F65,
along with an Arri 435 Xtreme shooting
Kodak Vision3 250D 5207 (for the day
scene) and 500T 5219 (for the night
scene).
All of the footage captured by the
cameras was recorded with the full
range of recording options: the Arri
Alexa recorded to both internal SxS
cards in the ProRes 4:4:4 format and an
onboard Codex recorder in ArriRaw;
the Canon C300 recorded Rec709 HD
to internal Compact Flash cards, as well
as Canon raw log to an external
recorder; the Red Epic recorded 16-bit
raw Redcode R3D files to SSD cards;
Sony’s F3 recorded Rec709 HD to SxS
cards and uncompressed HD via dual-
link HD-SDI; and the Sony F65
recorded to an HDCam-SR deck and
also to its internal 1-Terabyte solid-state
memory cards in 16-bit raw. Depending
on the manufacturers’ decisions, the
highest-quality image from each camera
was selected and processed through the
individual IDTs to bring the footage
into the ACES container. (Before being
sent through the IDTs, footage from the
Canon C300 and Sony F3 was
uprezzed to 4K through Nuke. EFilm
scanned the film footage at 6K and then
resized it to 4K for the assessment.)
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all world
anymore,” says Stump. “You can mix
and match cameras, and each produc-
tion has the right to expect that they can
all be plugged into one timeline for post.
Until every post facility can do that —
and provide meaningful digital archiv-
ing — we are still facing a significant
deficit in the post world. It is our hope
that ACES is the solution to that
deficit.”
Another criticism of the Camera
Assessment Series was that the scenes
the cinematographers blocked out and
shot were too much like camera tests
rather than real scenes with cinematic
qualities. For the ICAS test, the cine-
matographers prepared only two narra-
tive scenes, both of which told stories
that could have been lifted straight out
of an actual film. The scenes were shot
on the lot at Warner Bros.
The first sequence, titled “Serious
News,” was a daylight scene set in a
1940s diner. Large windows provided
views of a bright, harsh, sunlit exterior,
and the interior was lit mainly with the
resulting ambient light. The story
follows a young paperboy. A long track-
ing shot starts on the street outside the
diner and leads the boy into the diner,
where he hawks his wares to the
patrons. One of the buyers is a mysteri-
ous man sitting in a dimly lit corner; he
reads a headline about an arson and
hastily exits the diner. Completed in one
smooth camera move, the sequence
contrasts the exterior’s hot, bright skies
with the interior’s deep shadows.
The second scene was a Fellini-
esque night exterior. A young woman
dressed in theatrical clothing dances her
way through a rainy alley and past a
couple of homeless men near a barrel
fire. She offers her coat to a shivering
young mother sitting on the curb near a
storefront window, and then joins a
hodgepodge of city dwellers for an
exuberant dance on the rainy street. The
sequence encompasses the intense high
contrast between deep shadows, bright
flames, low light on faces, bright lights
in the windows of buildings adorned
with neon signs and hot streetlamps.
The wet streets pick up specular high-
lights, and the eccentric characters wear
colorful costumes that push the color

Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows
Right: The PGA’s
Hawk Koch
worked with Lori
McCreary, the
CEO of
Revelations
Entertainment, as
the ICAS
supervisors.
Below: Stump on
location with co-
producer/post
supervisor Cory
McCrum.
gamut of each camera close to its limit.
“We wanted to generate material
that didn’t just feel like another camera
test,” says Stump. “We went out of our
way to write scripts that would make
each of the two shots feel much more
cinematic while still stressing the
cameras to the fullest extent in both day
and night situations: a day interior with
bright, sunny, hazy, almost-white skies
beyond the windows, and a night exte-
rior in the rain with fire, point-source
lights in neon, and flashy colors.”
Supervising cinematographers
Stump and Lighthill were supported on
set by cinematographers Robert Primes,
ASC; Nancy Schreiber, ASC; and Steve
Mason, ASC. Bruce Logan, ASC and
Frederic Goodich, ASC served as direc-
tors of the day interior and the night
exterior scenes, respectively. (Marty
Ollstein served as the on-set data docu-
mentarian, and Marco Bario of Creative
Science supervised dailies.) Cameras
were operated by Terry Bowen and
David Knight, and E. Gunnar
Mortensen served as the key first AC
for the shoot.
In addition, a camera supervisor
was assigned to the various cameras to
ensure that the best care was taken with
each unique system: Ron Rashke for the
Arri 435; Kees Van Oostrum, ASC for
the Arri Alexa; Hiro Fukuda for the
Red Epic; Jamie Metzger for Sony’s
F65; Tammy Fouts for Sony’s F3; and
Dana Christiaansen for the Canon
C300. (Each manufacturer also had its
own personnel on hand.) ASC member
Ron Garcia and PGA member Lisa
Sontolongo served as supervising
producers for the “behind-the-scenes”
camera sequences; McCreary and
Hawk Koch were the overall producer
and director, respectively, for the entire
series, with Cory McCrum, Fiona
Walsh and John Kaiser acting as co-
producers. (McCrum also served as post
supervisor.)
Although it represents a signifi-
cant step toward a unified, transparent
color-management workflow architec-
ture for all digital motion-picture
imagery, ACES is still evolving and has
not yet been perfected for every camera
system. Creating and employing the
appropriate IDTs requires close part-
nership between the Academy and the
individual camera manufacturers. It is
also important to understand that
ACES is intended to be a solution for
narrative cinema and television produc-
tions; it does not apply to news, sports
or live television.
Nancy Schreiber, ASC (center) confers with Knight as key 1st AC E. Gunnar Mortensen
readies the Arri Alexa for the night shoot.
85

“ACES gives us transparency,
reliability, predictability and protection
of the original image capture and elim-
inates the uncertainty of the ‘special
sauce’ that some facilities have to create
in order to deal with footage,” says
Clark. “We need one standardized
color-management workflow architec-
ture that can work with any and all
camera systems so that images from
those cameras can be easily exported
from one facility to another while
maintaining image fidelity. ACES,
which has recently become a SMPTE
standard, is that framework. The ASC
Technology Committee, working in
close collaboration with the Academy,
has been extremely active in advancing
ACES, and now there’s definitely a
rapidly growing light at the end of the
tunnel.”
Lighthill feels the industry “is
very close to a standardized color-
management software that will work
with all cameras and all facilities. If you

Optimizing Digital-Camera Workflows
Knight operates during the night shoot with actress Melissa Center.
86
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have a project that involves just one
camera with one codec, and you do not
have to integrate files from different
cameras, then I suppose you could work
without ACES. However, most
projects do involve various cameras and
file formats, and ACES is designed to
handle this variety.
“The community of producers,
cinematographers, technicians and
facilities made a monumental effort to
design, implement and test ACES,”
Lighthill continues. “As the production
world is pushed and pulled by various
technologies, this community will face
more challenges and should be
prepared to act together to achieve our
common goals.”
“I was impressed to see how far
ACES has come,” offers McCreary.
“The images that came out of the
ICAS were so much better and took so
much less time than [those that came
out of ] the CAS in 2009, when we
were working with 10-bit DPX files. I
was quite excited to get through dailies,
which we referred to as our ‘work print,’
very quickly. If you’ve got a multiple-
camera shoot — especially multiple
different cameras — this is a great way
to go.
“I’m very pleased that the
Academy has been working for eight
years toward something that is really for
the industry as a whole,” she continues.
“Very few entities in our industry really
work for the benefit of the whole, but
the Academy and the ASC have been
working for many years to establish this
new standard that will improve the lives
of all of us in the business. Without that
commitment, our industry would be a
lot further behind the technological
curve. Standards are what allow us more
room for creative freedom instead of
having to reinvent the proverbial wheel
with every production.
“[The members of ] the ASC are
the unsung heroes helping move this
industry forward,” McCreary con-
cludes. “I know the PGA is eternally
grateful for their efforts in helping to
improve our business both technically
and creatively.”
Screenings of the ICAS are slated for
IBC in Amsterdam and at all of the major
studios in Hollywood. The ACES SMPTE
Standard (SMPTE ST 2065-1:2012) has
been published.
The ASC and PGA note that the
ICAS could not have been completed with-
out the generous cooperation of IATSE,
SAG, DGA and the Teamsters; the indi-
vidual camera manufacturers, along with
supporting production and post facilities;
and hundreds of crewmembers who volun-
teered their time. ●
87
88 September 2012 American Cinematographer
ACES Enables Eldorado’s F65 Workflow
By David Heuring
As chairman of the ASC Technology Committee, Curtis Clark,
ASC has sought to influence the evolution of digital motion-imaging
technologies with the goal of providing cinematographers with the
most powerful and flexible tools. At the same time, he works to
ensure that changes in technology don’t erode the cinematogra-
pher’s prerogatives as custodians of the image. Clark’s latest
endeavor toward those ends is Eldorado, a 10-minute motion picture
that was captured in 16-bit raw image files, posted in 4K and
finished as a DCP file for 4K projection.
Clark directed and photographed Eldorado with the first
production model of Sony’s F65 CineAlta camera. According to Sony
specs, the F65 uses an 8K 20-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor (with
18.7 megapixels in its active area) to produce a 4K 4096x2160
image-file output. The sensor is equivalent in size to a Super 35mm
film frame (24.7mm x 13.1mm), allowing the use of 35mm-format
lenses. It uses a Sony-designed color filter array that passes along 100
percent of the green information, 50 percent of the red and 50
percent of the blue; as a result, there is less interpolation than in
other cameras in order to reach 16-bit 4:4:4 RGB and retain an
unambiguous 4K spatial resolution.
The camera incorporates a number of improvements over the
prototype Clark used to shoot The Arrival (AC Aug. ’11). The most
important upgrade for Clark was the ability of the camera to output
16-bit linear raw files directly to SRMemory cards using an onboard
SR-R4 Memory Recorder. The new production model also features
software upgrades, enhanced frame-rate options and a mechanical
shutter that eliminates rolling-shutter artifacts.
“The purpose of Eldorado wasn’t just to demonstrate the
ability of the camera to create wide-dynamic-range images with
great color bit depth and high resolution,” Clark says, “but to do so
in an engaging narrative context that illustrates how those attributes
can more effectively tell a story.”
Eldorado depicts a woman (Katherine Randolph) surrounded
by the glossy commercial landscape of Las Vegas. She drives an
immaculate 1957 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, and the hypnotic
lights of Vegas seductively promise a certain kind of earthly escape.
Time-lapse cinematography transitions dawn to daylight, and the
woman is then seen driving through the otherworldly natural rock
formations in Nevada’s Valley of Fire. The painterly vistas stand in stark
contrast to the artificial world she has left behind, and they seem to
represent a more genuine and deep spirituality. Eventually, the
woman sees a rock formation that transforms into a face that she first
saw on a playing card back in a Las Vegas casino.
Post Focus
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A woman (Katherine Randolph) navigates a Cadillac Eldorado through a metaphysical landscape in the short film Eldorado, which Curtis Clark, ASC
directed and shot using Sony’s F65 CineAlta camera.
“These two environments are meant
to play out as mental landscapes as much as
actual physical places,” notes Clark. “The
selection of an environment, a context for a
narrative, can be as crucial as anything on
the written page. It’s actually a kind of writ-
ing with images. The film juxtaposes that
external world with the ‘interior world’ of
the character. It engages the viewer poeti-
cally by going beyond the literal, viewed as
a piece of reality being documented.
“Eldorado required a very effective,
dramatic depiction of landscape vistas —
not just postcard scenes, but something
intrinsic to narrative and character,” he
continues. “I knew the F65 had the
expanded color bit depth and enhanced
resolution to capture all the nuances in color
and the textural details in the wide vistas.
When images have that amazing textural
detail and tonal subtlety, they can be held
longer, because they engage the audience
on an emotional level you just can’t achieve
with a lesser camera or a workflow that is
incapable of preserving it. To me, that’s the
definition of ‘cinematic.’”
Clark took the F65 on several scout-
ing journeys and captured images that were
then used by dailies colorist Ed Twiford at
Colorworks to develop a look reference.
These parameters were later applied to the
16-bit raw files in the Colorworks DI suite.
Throughout the four-day shoot,
Clark generally worked with exposure
indices at or near 800 ASA. He kept the
shutter at 180 degrees and shot at 24p
because “the traditional film frame rate and
its attendant motion blur is still part of our
film culture, and because faster frame rates
can look like high-resolution video.” He
used no filtration aside from the camera’s
internal NDs and a polarizer on the exterior
scenes.
For Ultimate Arm shots tracking the
car, Clark fitted the F65 with the Fujinon
Premier 18-85mm T2 zoom lens, which he
used as a variable prime. For day-exterior
situations using Steadicam, and for scenes
shot in the casino, he used the Leica
Summilux-C primes. He says that the zoom
and the primes intercut “beautifully.”
Clark elected to use the camera
without on-set or near-set look manage-
ment, just as he might use a film camera; he
didn’t want to spend time assessing and

90 September 2012 American Cinematographer
analyzing images during the shoot.
“Running back and forth between the set
and the DIT tent, obsessing about every
shot — it’s stressful and it can distract you
from what you should be focusing on,” he
says. “The workflow should serve the
creative process, not interfere with it.” Reli-
able data management was more of a
concern, with multiple backup procedures
designed and implemented, using both
portable hard drives and LTO 5 tape.
The F65’s 4K workflow and compat-
ibility with the Academy Color Encoding
System significantly streamlined Eldorado’s
post process. ACES is an image and color
management architecture that comprises a
set of encoding specifications, transforms
and recommended practices designed to
enable the creation and processing of
images that use a greater dynamic range of
scene tones and a wider color gamut, utiliz-
ing greater bit depth. ACES includes high-
precision 16-bit floating-point encoding;
the F65’s 16-bit raw image output dovetails
with the ACES architecture.
The looks Clark had set up with
Twiford meant he didn’t need to be
present for the dailies grade. “It’s analo-
gous to working with a timer in the lab,”
says Clark. “Ed knew what I was trying to
achieve. We had images that captured all
the necessary image information, the bit
depth and spatial resolution, with 14 stops
of dynamic range. I confidently shot with
the F65 as I would have with film negative.
Ed applied the color grade to the DNX-175
dailies that I used for editorial, and the
color grade he did was amazingly spot-on.
It was so close that when I went into the
final color grading, working with the full
4K open EXR 16-bit files, we did remark-
Above: This diagram shows the path of the
F65-acquired images through the ACES
architecture and out to a 4K DCP. Left: Clark
works with Randolph on location inside a
Las Vegas casino.
ably little massaging or finessing. The start-
ing point, by being in ACES, put me where
I wanted to be.”
At Colorworks, DI colorist Steve
Bowen incorporated the metadata from
the dailies grade while working directly
with the original 4K 16-bit raw files for the
final grade, which was done with a Film-
Light Baselight system working in an ACES
environment. “The ability to work in 16-bit
allowed us to retain the integrity of the
images and take full advantage of it in the
final color grading,” says Clark. “It was
essential to delivering the experience I
wanted to provide for the audience, with
all the immersive quality and poetic image
associations.
“One of the great things about
ACES is that it includes an idealized form of
print-film emulation in the reference-
rendering transform,” Clark continues.
“The output of the F65 camera is in S-
gamut color space, which is a fairly wide
color space; in effect, it’s wider than film,
but it has a very filmic feeling. If you inte-
grate that with an ACES workflow, where
you’ve got that print-film emulation, you
can preserve the full range of those colors
and tones and maintain a more filmic feel.
So you can have high resolution without a
video look.
“Some people confuse sharpening
with resolution,” he says. “Video uses
super-sharpening to give you that video
‘presence,’ but the best film has sufficient
resolution. With true 4K resolution, you can
The production employed an Ultimate Arm to track with the car on location in
Nevada’s Valley of Fire.
92
have normal sharpness without having to
add extra artificial electronic sharpening to
enhance the image. I think that’s a quality
that distinguishes the F65: It can take
advantage of the super resolution and still
distance itself from the video lineage.”
The final step in Eldorado’s post
workflow was the creation of a DCP file for
4K projection. “What we can learn from
the experience of making Eldorado builds
on the capabilities of the F65 camera,” says
Clark. “There are lessons about how the
combined technology of the camera and
the 4K workflow can retain the attributes
of the highest quality motion-picture imag-
ing, [with] a filmic look and feel.
“It’s also important to realize that
the technology has challenged our ability to
adapt, to incorporate it into our creative
processes and working methods comfort-
ably and effectively,” he adds. “It’s actually
running the risk of getting in our way, and
in our attempts to compensate, we tend to
obsess over technologies in an unhealthy
way. Technologies can be disruptive by their
nature. It’s our responsibility to establish
93
protocols and procedures that ensure that
these technologies serve the creative process
and reinforce rather than undermine the
primary creative role of the cinematogra-
pher. It’s a complex issue, and it requires
discussion and consensus-building. It’s all
about how we adapt.” ●
Clark blocks the camera and actor against the desert’s rock formations. “Eldorado required
a very effective, dramatic depiction of landscape vistas,” he says.
Fraunhofer Announces Digital Cinema Developments
The Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance, which has recently
been working with high-frame-rate 3-D technology, has launched
the A/V Analyzing Toolbox and STAN Stereo Analyzer.
The German research organization comprises Fraunhofer IIS
(Institute for Integrated Circuits), Fraunhofer First (Institute for
Computer Architecture and Software Technology), Fraunhofer HHI
(Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institute) and
Fraunhofer IDMT (Institute for Digital Media Technology). It offers
R&D in the areas of production (camera and storage), 3-D tech-
nologies, audio systems, data compression, post processing, trans-
mission, projection, distribution and digital archiving.
The Department of Moving Picture Technologies at Fraun-
hofer IIS has begun testing its high-frame-rate technologies in
stereoscopic 3-D workflows. Together with Arri and Stereotec,
Fraunhofer IIS shot short test clips at 120 fps per eye to simulate
content at various frame rates and to create DCPs that play back at
24 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps per eye based on the same footage. (The
test was conducted with two Arri Alexas and a midsize rig from
Stereotec.) The technique mitigates or eliminates the motion blur
and stuttering associated with 24-fps-per-eye capture and playback
of 3-D footage.
Fraunhofer IDMT has launched Error Detection within its AV
Analyzing Toolbox. The new feature enables users to detect errors
and quality problems in A/V content before, during and after the
production process. Additionally, Error Detection allows digital-film
archives to ensure that only error-free material is ingested. It can also
be used for controlling and monitoring broadcasting networks and
A/V services such as digital archives or encoding/transcoding
services. Error Detection monitors for such video errors as frozen
images, black screens, under- and overexposure, blurring, blocking,
and ringing, and for several different audio errors.
Fraunhofer HHI has partnered with Silicon Imaging to inte-
grate Fraunhofer’s STAN Stereo Analysis engine into Silicon Imag-
ing’s SI-3D Stereo Monitoring, Analysis, Recording and Transmission
New Products & Services
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system. The SI-3D SMART system captures content from raw and
HD-SDI sources and utilizes STAN to generate real-time camera
geometry measurements and depth information for use in precision
rig alignment and corrected 3-D output. This integration provides
stereo visualization, color management, virtual parallax, FIZICS
(focus, iris, zoom, interaxial and convergence) controls and record-
ing in a single portable platform, all under wireless control via an
Apple iPad. The synchronized recordings of imagery, audio, motion,
correction and time code can be used for direct 2K/HD editing and
finishing or linked with 4K source material.
For additional information, visit www.dcinema.fraun
hofer.de.
Hot Rod Cameras Expands
Hot Rod Cameras has expanded operations and moved into
a new facility in Hollywood. The new facility features a showroom
that offers demonstrations of accessories from such respected
brands as Arri, Cartoni, Chrosziel, Element Technica, OConnor and
Zacuto.
Since introducing its professional solutions for mounting
cinema lenses on HDSLR cameras, HRC has grown to become a
value-added reseller and a distributor for select equipment manu-
facturers. As a factory-authorized dealer for Angenieux, Cooke, Fuji-
non, Schneider Optics and Zeiss, HRC also offers the “HRC Lens
Bar” in the new Hollywood facility, where clients can enjoy interac-
tive demonstrations and build and preview various configurations of
dozens of in-house lenses, filters, and other specialty optics and opti-
cal accessories — all without having to leave their seats.
HRC’s expansion allows the company to take on additional
product lines and services, including the Blackmagic Design Cinema
Camera, the Axis 1 wireless focus system, handcrafted front boxes,
and the Paralinx Arrow uncompressed wireless HD system.
The company’s services include comprehensive DSLR (all
brands) body and lens repair, PL mount/flange adjustments and cali-
brations, custom engineering, modifications to hardware and
94 September 2012 American Cinematographer
firmware, custom grip replacements, custom
cases, anodizing, and color matching. It also
offers evening, weekend and odd-hour shop-
ping, pickup and delivery for clients working
on productions.
Hot Rod Cameras, 1413 Cole Pl., Los
Angeles. For more information, visit
www.hotrodcameras.com.
Congo Films Services
Latin America
Congo Films S.A. has announced the
addition of the Russian Arm Mark IV to its
rental inventory for the Latin American film
market. Founded in 1983, Congo Films is a
full-service rental facility offering camera,
lighting and grip equipment, with offices in
Bogota, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile.
The Russian Arm Mark IV joins such
products as Milo and Tyler helicopter and
stabilized mounts; Fisher, Panther, Moviegrip
and Egripment cranes and dollies; Hawk,
Cooke, Zeiss, Angenieux and Fujinon lenses;
Arri Alexa Studio and Alexa Plus 4:3 cameras;
Phantom Flex and Gold cameras; Codex
recorders; Luminys, Arri, Mole Richardson,
Kino Flo, K 5600 and Dedolight lighting
fixtures; and a long list of rigging gear.
Filmmakers in Argentina, Brazil,
Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama
and Costa Rica often sublet specialized gear
from Congo Films. At press time, the
company is servicing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s
La Danza de la Realidad, shot by Jean-Marie
Dreujou.
For additional information, visit
www.congofilms.tv.
Encore Adds Vancouver Facility
Expanding on a network of post
houses that includes facilities in Los Angeles
and New York, Encore, a Deluxe Entertain-
ment Services Group company, has
announced a new facility in Vancouver,
British Columbia.
All of Encore’s facilities employ a
common network that allows them to share
media seamlessly, maximizing efficiency and
capacity.
The company is also expanding its
visual-effects services for TV to Vancouver.
The Vancouver visual-effects division will be
supervised by Ivan Hayden, who brings more
than 15 years of experience to the role.
camera type or native file.
Supporting workflow development
and dailies management, Technicolor
Vancouver offerings include project supervi-
sors; 24-hour technical support; color
correction with experienced long-form
dailies colorists; extensive data storage; a
private, secure, high-speed data network;
and calibrated screening rooms for both
broadcast and feature 2-D and 3-D produc-
tions.
Technicolor also offers remote on-set
and mobile near-set solutions for produc-
tions shooting on location. These systems
range from data wrangling to full color
management.
For additional information, visit
www.technicolor.com.
FilmLight Manages
Color Pipeline
FilmLight has introduced a number
of solutions that combine to make a seam-
less, end-to-end color-management and
manipulation pipeline.
Flip is a real-time image-processing
product that lets the creative production
team design looks in prep and apply and
refine them on set. Employing a Baselight
GPU renderer with Truelight Color Manage-
ment, Flip can create and store an unlimited
number of preset looks and spatial filters,
which can then be applied and refined in
real time on set; that grade can then be
saved and applied to dailies and other
downstream processes.
At the next stage of the process,
FilmLight has unveiled the Baselight Transfer
near-set dailies solution, a fully featured
real-time 4K dailies processing system that
supports all of the latest digital cinema
cameras. The production-proven solution has
recently been put through its paces in an F65
4K ACES workflow for M. Night Shyamalan’s
After Earth, shot by Peter Suschitzky, ASC.
Baselight Transfer also offers automatic color
matching between on-set grading data from
Flip and raw camera footage, ensuring
absolute integrity with the look captured on
set.
FilmLight also offers Baselight
Editions, which make the color-grading
toolset directly available to editors and visual-
effects artists, providing tight integration
between grading, editorial and visual effects.
Baselight for Apple Final Cut Pro 7 already
made this possible, and now FilmLight offers
Baselight for The Foundry’s Nuke, with Base-
light for Avid Media Composer on the hori-
zon.
Baselight 4.3, the latest version of
FilmLight’s grading software, marks a signifi-
cant advance in terms of responsiveness and
productivity. The software facilitates real-
time, multi-layered color grading in 4K and
beyond, as well as seamless exchange of
timeline grading data with Baselight Editions.
Hayden will report to Tom Kendall, vice
president of visual effects for television at
Deluxe.
Encore’s Vancouver facility is conve-
niently located in the same complex that
houses Deluxe’s post facility and its visual-
effects subsidiary Method Studios.
For additional information, visit
www.bydeluxe.com.
Technicolor Vancouver Moves
to Bridge Studios
Technicolor Vancouver is moving its
primary facility to the Bridge Studios, with
additional digital-dailies labs at the North
Shore Studios and the Vancouver Film
Studios.
Technicolor Vancouver now offers
on-location services with a mobile Global
Dailies solution at three of the major
production studios in the city. The Global
Dailies solution is compatible with Techni-
color’s DP Lights and is focused on making
dailies a smooth process regardless of the
96 September 2012 American Cinematographer
Goldcrest Post, Narduzzo Too
Embrace LightSpace
London-based Goldcrest Post has
teamed with Narduzzo Too, a grading facility
owned by Vince Narduzzo, after high
demand at Narduzzo Too’s Pinewood facility
prompted the need for expanded services.
As part of the expansion, Goldcrest
Post has adopted Light Illusion’s LightSpace
CMS color-management system to guaran-
tee facility-wide color calibration, matching
the color-management workflow already in
place at the company’s New York facility and
at Narduzzo Too. In addition to purchasing
LightSpace CMS with an X-Rite i1 Display 2
OEM probe, Goldcrest Post asked Light Illu-
sion to consult on defining the new DI oper-
ation’s workflow, suggesting associated
display and monitoring systems, and over-
seeing the initial calibration of the room.
LightSpace CMS is one of a range of
calibration systems developed by Light Illu-
sion for use within the digital-imaging envi-
ronment. Other color-management solu-
tions include MatchLight IMS, SpaceMan
ICC, LightDensity XYZ and Alexicc.
For additional information, visit
www.goldcrestpost.co.uk, www.narduzzo
too.com and www.lightillusion.com.
Finally, the company has previewed
Flux, an open, scalable data-management
platform. Specifically designed for the
requirements of the postproduction indus-
try, Flux offers data wrangling for complex
productions with 100:1 shooting ratios and
thousands of visual-effects shots.
For additional information, visit
www.filmlight.ltd.uk.
Digital Vision Enhances Nucoda
Digital Vision has unveiled significant
enhancements to its Nucoda color-grading
platform, providing increased workflow
capabilities and additional tools for grading,
pre-grading and stereoscopic projects.
The company has introduced the
Nucoda Film Master ACES workflow with
full HDR grading capability, including a rich
toolset for dealing with color-critical work-
flows such as HDR capture from Arri and
Red cameras. For stereoscopic projects,
Auto Color and Align tools allow colorists to
automatically match 3-D cameras using
advanced geometry technology that
provides morphing and color-matching
capabilities.
Other new features for Nucoda
include support for the latest Red Epic
HDRx, Arri Alexa range and Sony F65
CineAlta camera (SRMaster format); a
Deformable Shape Tracker; 64-bit applica-
tion providing increased performance and
stability when using large-format digital
cameras and image manipulation at 4K;
and updated features for the latest Avid and
Apple FCP editorial workflows. Additionally,
the Precision grading panel is now available
in both curved and straight configurations.
Also in the Nucoda family, Digital
Vision has launched Nucoda Look, a pre-
grade assist station and deliverables plat-
form with LUT export; and enhanced
features for Nucoda Fuse, including full
base-layer grading, a replace function to
quickly change color tools, and LUT creation
and export.
Digital Vision has also unveiled
Phoenix Video, a powerful, cost-effective
image-restoration software solution that
allows content stored on videotape to be
fully restored and ready for distribution
across multiple platforms. The end-to-end
Phoenix Video solution includes Digital
Vision’s DVO image-manipulation software
98 September 2012 American Cinematographer
toolset for highly automated restoration and
enhancement of video content stored on
various tape formats, such as 1", U-Matic
and Betacam SP, or later transferred to digi-
tal tape formats. The system handles image
defects such as dropouts, severe noise,
cross-color artifacting, line-sync problems
(shifts/stretching) and more. Additional
features include motion-compensated
frame-rate conversion and high-quality
upscaling as well as full support for common
broadcast codecs. These new video-restora-
tion tools have also been added to Digital
Vision’s high-end Phoenix Finish restoration
offering.
For additional information, visit
www.imagesystems.se/digital-vision.
Signiant, 5th Kind Streamline
Asset Management
Signiant, a provider of intelligent file-
movement software for media and enter-
tainment, and 5th Kind, an innovator of
asset-management and workflow solutions
optimized for production environments,
have partnered to integrate Signiant’s accel-
erated file-movement capabilities with 5th
Kind’s Core platform, enabling dispersed
production teams to ingest and share digital
media files quickly and securely.
Deployed on internal networks
accessed via the cloud, the scalable Core
asset-management system features flexible
modules to organize, search, view, track and
tag any type of digital file, including footage
and visual effects, and a flexible communi-
cation module for ongoing team collabora-
tion. By seamlessly integrating with Signi-
ant’s accelerated digital file-transfer capabil-
ities, Core increases user productivity while
significantly reducing labor and overhead
costs.
“5th Kind’s Core platform is a unique
digital production hub that offers clients
end-to-end management support for not
only media, but the full spectrum of produc-
tion resources, including dailies, scripts, cast-
ing and marketing materials in a single
system,” says Matt Thomas, Western
Region account director for Signiant. “We
are pleased to work together with them to
serve the needs of the media and entertain-
ment community with capabilities that
simplify and centralize access to media and
materials in ways that basic point-to-point
file transfer or traditional FTP solutions
simply cannot.”
“It’s our goal to deliver the broadest
asset management solution — from script
to screen — tailored for the entertainment
industry,” adds Steve Cronan, CEO of 5th
Kind. “Our collaboration with Signiant gives
our studio, production and enterprise media
customers the levels of centralized control,
security, collaboration and ease of use that
they require, and is already in use by our
largest customer, Marvel Studios, to move
time-sensitive [visual effects], audio and 3-D
conversions across the supply chain.”
For additional information, visit
www.signiant.com and www.5thkind.com.
Paralinx Launches Arrow
Cinema electronics company Paral-
inx, LLC, has unveiled the Arrow uncom-
pressed wireless video transmitter. Featuring
a latency of less than 2 milliseconds, the
Arrow transmits an uncompressed wireless
video signal at distances up to 320' line of
sight and up to 200' through obstructions.
“Our goal was to make wireless HD
more accessible,” says Dan Kanes, co-
founder and CTO of Paralinx. “We wanted
to keep the Arrow affordable to a wide
range of filmmakers, yet still offer features
like long range, low latency, small footprint
and, most importantly, uncompressed 10-
bit video.”
The Arrow boasts an extremely
compact size and minimal weight: the trans-
mitter is roughly the size of a pack of gum,
the receiver is approximately the size of a
deck of cards, and the transmitter and
receiver together weigh less than ¼ pound.
Additionally, the Arrow is plug and play with
any HDMI output from a camera or other
device, enabling short connection times
without any menus to navigate. All resolu-
tions up to 1080 are supported, as are all
frame rates up to 60, with capability for
progressive and interlaced scanning as well
as progressive segmented frame.
Thanks to automatic Dynamic
Frequency Selection, up to six Arrow kits can
be used in the same area simultaneously,
and 256-bit encryption keeps transmissions
safe. Also, the Arrow system is FCC and CE
certified.
The Arrow is available for a recom-
mended price of $1,199. For more informa-
tion, visit www.paralinx.net.
Boxx Builds Meridian Family
Boxx Communications, the North
American headquarters and official reseller
for Boxx TV, has unveiled the Meridian Lite
and Meridian Tallis systems.
The Meridian Lite is an entry-level RF
HD camera system with zero-delay transmis-
sion. With its lightweight wireless transmit-
ter, Meridian Lite supports 4:2:2 video,
including all formats up to 1080/30p, and
delivers uncompressed, artifact-free broad-
cast video and sound in synch. The system is
also upgradable to Boxx TV’s full-featured
high-end Meridian wireless RF HD camera
system.
The Meridian Tallis is an iris control
and tally indicator accessory that comple-
ments any brand of broadcast camera on a
wireless rig or Steadicam. The Tallis is small
enough to mount on any camera, and the
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100 September 2012 American Cinematographer
control knob gives accurate, high-resolution
control to the iris. As Tallis only controls the
lens, there is no black level or red/blue gain
control, but at a price of around $3,500, it
opens up a solution to productions where
iris-only control is sufficient.
In addition to the Meridian System,
Boxx offers Cobalt, which provides an alter-
native to COFDM systems with a bi-direc-
tional packet acknowledgment protocol
that offers extremely robust transmissions,
and Cerulean, which delivers the quality and
reliability of full-HD uncompressed fiber link
in a wireless environment.
Boxx’s Meridian product line has
been used on a variety of projects, including
the series Modern Family and the upcoming
James Bond film Skyfall. For additional infor-
mation, visit www.boxxusa.com.
K 5600 Illuminates Joker 1600
K 5600 has introduced the Joker
1600, a 1,600-watt daylight fixture that
produces an output comparable to a 6,000-
watt quartz fixture. It is available in three
configurations: Bug-Lite, Beamer and Zoom
Beamer.
The Joker 1600 Bug-Lite has no
optics. The fixture’s bare-bulb output is opti-
mal for use in light banks and lanterns,
providing even distribution, eliminating hot
spots and maximizing output. It can even be
used pointing straight down.
The Joker 1600 Beamer includes an
8" specular reflector and a set of four tradi-
tional Par 64 lenses: Medium, Wide, Super-
Wide and a frosted Fresnel. These lenses
provide varying light patterns from 5 to 45
degrees and an extremely high output due
to the reflector finish.
The lensless, focusable Joker 1600
Zoom Beamer boasts 15 to 65 degrees of
even light output. The reflector was specifi-
cally engineered around the new 1,600-
watt lamp, resulting in the most efficient
performance possible.
All of the Joker 1600 units run off of
a quiet electronic power supply that is
smaller than comparable ballasts. Capable
of running on a 15-amp/120-volt circuit,
the electronic power supply is dimmable
and has selectable frequency options for
extreme high-speed shooting.
For additional information, visit
www.k5600.com.
Panasonic Unveils
F Series P2 Cards
Panasonic has announced the F
Series next-generation P2 solid-state record-
ing media. Available in 64GB, 32GB and
16GB P2 cards, the F Series supports record-
ing of up to AVC-Intra Class 200 in the
AVC-Ultra codec family, as well as all
currently available codecs from existing P2
cameras and recorders, including AVC-Intra
100/50 and DVCPro HD/50/25.
F Series P2 cards offer fast transfer
speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, and they contain
a flash memory error-correction system —
equivalent to a RAID system — that greatly
strengthens data retention reliability. All P2
cards use high-quality
solid-state memory,
extremely durable
die-cast aluminum
construction and
impact-proof connec-
tors. Additionally, P2
cards offer depend-
able performance
during recording in all
types of environ-
ments, as well as
instant access and
complete data
compatibility in all P2 camcorders and
workflow tools.
The 64GB (model AJ-P2E065FG),
32GB (AJ-P2E032FG) and 16GB (AJ-
P2E016FG) F Series P2 cards are available
now for a recommended price of $730,
$499 and $399, respectively. For more
information, visit www.panasonic.com
/broadcast.
Sound Devices Mounts Pix 260
Sound Devices has introduced the Pix
260 production audio/video recorder and a
V.2 firmware update for the Pix 240 portable
audio/video recorder.
Based on the field-proven Pix 220 and
Pix 240 recorders, the rack-mounted Pix 260
is a file-based audio/video recorder/player
that replaces tape-based video decks in
production and postproduction environ-
ments. Using Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD
codecs, the Pix 260 records and plays files up
to 220 Mbps in high-quality 10-bit 4:2:2
video and 32 tracks of 48 kHz audio. Files
from the Pix 260 are ready for direct import
into Avid and Final Cut editing environments,
eliminating time-consuming transferring and
transcoding. Files can also play out of the Pix
260 for real-time applications.
The Pix 260 has a built-in 5"
800x480-pixel video display that allows users
to view video and menu selections. It can be
controlled by external RS-422 and via Ether-
net through the embedded Web server,
allowing for machine transport control over
Ethernet-based networks. The Pix 260’s
½-rack 2U chassis dimension allows it to
be easily integrated into existing envi-
ronments; the unit is powered by 10-27
VDC through its four-pin XLR connector.
Up to four SATA drives can be
connected to the Pix 260 simultane-
ously; all four drives can be recorded to
simultaneously for RAID-1-type redun-
dancy and to eliminate the need for
post-record copying when multiple
copies are required. Additionally, the Pix
260 includes a built-in Ambient Clockit
time-code generator/reader with
genlock output for multi-camera and
double-system sound applications; time code
can be read from the SDI stream, the HDMI
stream or from an external source.
Like the Pix 220 and Pix 240, the Pix
260 includes a scaler and frame-rate
converter. Regardless of the incoming signal,
the Pix recorders can record the signal after
up, down or cross-conversion at the same
rate or a different rate. Hardware-based 3:2
pull-down removal is included as well. ➣
102 September 2012 American Cinematographer
The firmware update for the Pix 240
recorder enables users to monitor images in
varying exposures through Exposure Assist,
a feature that includes false-color and zebra-
stripes viewing. The update is also equipped
with Focus Assist, which includes a peaking
filter and 1:1 pixel zoom; monitor bright-
ness, contrast and chroma adjustments;
standard-definition recording (NTSC and
PAL); and support for using simultaneous
analog and SDI/HDMI audio inputs. These
new features are available as a free firmware
update to all Pix 240 users and can be
downloaded through the company’s
website.
For additional information, visit
www.sounddevices.com.
DeepX Takes Epic Underwater
Australian inventor and filmmaker
Pawel Achtel has unveiled the DeepX under-
water camera-housing system.
The DeepX system combines Red
Epic cameras with Nikon Nikonos
submersible lenses, which were designed
expressly for underwater use, with no extra
plastic or glass in front of them, thereby miti-
gating the image-quality degradation regu-
larly associated with underwater housings
and resulting in images that are sharp
enough for the biggest cinema screens. The
DeepX houses the camera system while
keeping the lens exposed to the water.
“The design is wonderfully simple,”
says underwater cinematographer Bob
Cranston, who recently tested the DeepX
housing off the coast of Catalina Island. “It
is very small and easy to travel with … and
uses great Nikon optics. It offers the best
close-up capabilities I’ve seen so far.”
The DeepX is available in the U.S. and
Europe from Band Pro. For more informa-
tion, visit www.bandpro.com and
www.achtel.com.
CineBags Rolls
Out CB40
CineBags has released the CB40
High Roller, the company’s first bag to incor-
porate a retractable telescope arm and
wheels. The bag is designed to accommo-
date the latest camera systems, including
the Canon Cinema EOS C300, Red Epic,
and all other medium-sized cameras and
their accessories, including base plates,
monitors, rods, mattebox, batteries and
chargers. The bag also features a compart-
ment to accommodate a 15" laptop.
“We are excited to have created a
brand-new bag with a laundry list of
features to cater to today’s camera profes-
sionals,” says Markus Davids, SOC,
CineBags’ president and product designer.
“Modular camera systems require a bag
that protects and organizes … and allows
for maximum customization. The new
CB40 High Roller is that bag.”
For additional information, visit
www.cinebags.com.
Vinten Unveils
Vision Blue5 System
Vinten, part of Vitec Videocom, a
Vitec Group company, has unveiled the
Vision Blue5 pan-and-tilt head and tripod
system. The Vision Blue5 is
the latest member of the
Vinten Vision Blue family
and offers the same quality
performance as the original
Vision Blue system. The light-
weight Vision Blue5 has a carrying
capacity range of 12.1-26.5 pounds
at a 100mm center of gravity.
The Vision Blue5 offers a
cost-effective solution while deliv-
ering the quality and perfor-
mance associated with Vinten’s
heads. The infinitely
adjustable Perfect Balance
and LF drag technology
provides smooth control
and consistent movement
quality.
“The introduction of the Vision
Blue5 represents the next generation of
Vinten’s pan-and-tilt heads and tripod
systems,” says Peter Harman, product
manager for Vinten. “We’ve built on the
successful performances of the Pro-10 and
Vision 5AS heads and combined it with the
accessibility and ease of use of the Vision
Blue. It is a winning product that offers
uncompromising performance.”
For additional information, visit
www.vinten.com.
Digital Anarchy Opens
Beauty Box
Digital Anarchy has introduced
Beauty Box Video 2.0 for OpenFX, bringing
the skin-retouching plug-in to Assimilate
Scratch and Scratch Lab, and Sony Vegas
Pro and Movie Studio. Beauty Box now uses
OpenCL running on ATI and Nvidia cards to
automatically reduce wrinkles and blem-
ishes while preserving important details and
the natural skin texture. Fast rendering
allows it to fit into any workflow pipeline.
Version 2.0 also introduces a new smooth-
ing algorithm that improves automatic
masking and adds shine removal for hot
spots on skin areas.
For additional information, visit
www.digitalanarchy.com.
CamOne Explores Infinity
CamOneTec has launched the
CamOne Infinity micro camera. Measuring
49mm x 42mm x 34mm, the camera
records 30 fps in full-HD 1080p or 60 fps in
720p. Additional features include time-
lapse and serial-photo functions, an inte-
grated 1.5" screen with intuitive
multilingual menu, a 2.0 Mini USB
port, and AV and HDMI live outputs.
The CamOne Infinity’s available
accessories include a watertight case that
enables clear shooting underwater. Addi-
tionally, a Wi-Fi module will soon be avail-
able, allowing users to control the
camera via a smart phone.
The CamOne Infinity retails for
$250. For more information, visit
www.camonetec.com. ●
104 September 2012 American Cinematographer
International Marketplace
Monitor Yoke Mounts
SUPER16INC.COM
Top-notch camera and lens servicing
Ask about Ultra 16!
T: 607-642-3352 bernie@super16inc.com
Toll-free: 877-376-6582 FREE ESTIMATES
www.theasc.com September 2012 105
CLASSIFIED AD RATES
All classifications are $4.50 per word. Words set in
bold face or all capitals are $5.00 per word. First
word of ad and advertiser’s name can be set in capi-
tals without extra charge. No agency commission or
discounts on clas si fied advertising.PAYMENT MUST
AC COM PA NY ORDER. VISA, Mastercard, AmEx and
Discover card are ac cept ed. Send ad to Clas si fied
Ad ver tis ing, Amer i can Cin e ma tog ra pher, P.O.
Box 2230, Hol ly wood, CA 90078. Or FAX (323)
876-4973. Dead line for payment and copy must be
in the office by 15th of second month preceding
pub li ca tion. Sub ject mat ter is lim it ed to items and
ser vic es per tain ing to film mak ing and vid eo pro duc -
tion. Words used are sub ject to mag a zine style ab -
bre vi a tion. Min i mum amount per ad: $45
Classifieds
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
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Advertiser’s Index
16x9, Inc. 104
Aadyn Technology 53
Abel Cine Tech 41
AC 1, 85, 93
Adorama 5, 57
AJA Video Systems, Inc. 21
American Film Market 107
Arri 9
Australian Cinematographers
Society 106
AZGrip 104
Backstage Equipment, Inc.
80
Barger-Lite 89, 105
Birns & Sawyer 104
Blackmagic Design, Inc. 13
Cammate 95
Cavision Enterprises 65
Chapman/Leonard Studio
Equipment Inc. 67
Chemical Wedding 101
Chimera 37
Cinematography
Electronics 97
Cinekinetic 104
Clairmont Film & Digital 73
Codex Digital Ltd. 75
Congo Films S.A. 61
Content & Communications
World 99
Convergent Design 71
Cooke Optics 7
CTT Exp & Rentals 83
Dadco LLC 89
Deluxe C2
DV Expo 91
Eastman Kodak 48a-l, C4
Edelkrone 69
EFD USA, Inc. 25
Film Gear 81
Filmtools 6
Fujifilm North America 29
Glidecam Industries 15
Grip Factory 95
Hertz Corporation 11
Hive Lighting 44
Innovision 105
J.L. Fisher 77
K 5600 51
Kino Flo 86
Koerner Camera Systems 83
LDI 103
Lee Filters 87
Lights! Action! Co. 104
Lighttools 55
Maccam 4
Manfrotto Distribution C3
Manios Optical 105
MAT Berlin 45
M. M. Mukhi & Sons 104
Movcam Tech. Co., Ltd. 23
Movie Tech AG 104, 105
NBC/Universal 59
New York Film Academy 27
Nila Inc. 60
Oppenheimer Camera Prod.
39, 104
P+S Technik Feinmechanik
Gmbh 104
Panther 85
PC&E 97
PED Denz 81
Pille Film Gmbh 104
Polecam Ltd. 6
Powermills 105
Pro8mm 104
Rag Place, The 6
Red Digital Cinema 30-31
Schneider Optics 2
Servicevision USA 76
Super16 Inc. 104
Thales Angenieux 19
Tiffen Company 17, 43
VF Gadgets, Inc. 105
Willy’s Widgets 104
www.theasc.com 85, 92
AN ACS INITIATIVE
Respect
the art.
THE LOOK.
THE SHOOT.
THE GRADE.
Great or even pretty good
Cinematographers are a lot more
than a great eye.

They’re the complete package.

The art they throw their heart and
soul into is not complete until the
fnal colour grade.

To not include the Cinematographer
is like not allowing the Director to
work with the Editor. It’s an insult
and it hurts.

So please, when you go into
a creative partnership with a
cinematographer, make sure you let
them complete their work– make
sure they’re at the grade.

Probably end up making you look
pretty good too.
Will Dion Beebe ACS ASC
Don McAlpine ACS ASC
& Dean Semler ACS ASC
make the grade?
106
AMERICAN FILM MARKET
& CONFERENCES
OCTOBER 31 – NOVEMBER 7 / SANTA MONICA
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Photo by Fitz Carlile
Five Days of Conferences
2,000+ New Films & Projects
One Beachfront Campus that Covers It All
108 September 2012 American Cinematographer
American Society of Cinematographers Roster
OFFICERS – 2012-’13
Stephen Lighthill,
President
Daryn Okada,
Vice President
Richard Crudo,
Vice President
Kees Van Oostrum,
Vice President
Victor J. Kemper,
Treasurer
Frederic Goodich,
Secretary
Steven Fierberg,
Sergeant-at-Arms
MEMBERS
OF THE BOARD
John Bailey
Stephen H. Burum
Curtis Clark
Richard Crudo
Dean Cundey
Fred Elmes
Michael Goi
Victor J. Kemper
Francis Kenny
Matthew Leonetti
Stephen Lighthill
Michael O'Shea
Robert Primes
Owen Roizman
Kees Van Oostrum
ALTERNATES
Ron Garcia
Julio Macat
Kenneth Zunder
Steven Fierberg
Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Dean R. Cundey
Stefan Czapsky
David Darby
Allen Daviau
Roger Deakins
Jan DeBont
Thomas Del Ruth
Bruno Delbonnel
Peter Deming
Jim Denault
Caleb Deschanel
Ron Dexter
Craig Di Bona
George Spiro Dibie
Ernest Dickerson
Billy Dickson
Bill Dill
Anthony Dod Mantle
Stuart Dryburgh
Bert Dunk
Lex DuPont
John Dykstra
Richard Edlund
Eagle Egilsson
Frederick Elmes
Robert Elswit
Geoffrey Erb
Scott Farrar
Jon Fauer
Don E. FauntLeRoy
Gerald Feil
Steven Fierberg
Mauro Fiore
John C. Flinn III
Larry Fong
Ron Fortunato
Jonathan Freeman
Tak Fujimoto
Alex Funke
Steve Gainer
Robert Gantz
Ron Garcia
David Geddes
Dejan Georgevich
Michael Goi
Stephen Goldblatt
Paul Goldsmith
Frederic Goodich
Victor Goss
Jack Green
Adam Greenberg
Robbie Greenberg
Xavier Grobet
Alexander Gruszynski
Changwei Gu
Rick Gunter
Rob Hahn
Gerald Hirschfeld
Henner Hofmann
Adam Holender
Ernie Holzman
Michael D. Margulies
Barry Markowitz
Steve Mason
Clark Mathis
Don McAlpine
Don McCuaig
Seamus McGarvey
Robert McLachlan
Geary McLeod
Greg McMurry
Steve McNutt
Terry K. Meade
Suki Medencevic
Chris Menges
Rexford Metz
Anastas Michos
David Miller
Douglas Milsome
Dan Mindel
Charles Minsky
Claudio Miranda
George Mooradian
Donald A. Morgan
Donald M. Morgan
Kramer Morgenthau
Peter Moss
M. David Mullen
Dennis Muren
Fred Murphy
Hiro Narita
Guillermo Navarro
Michael B. Negrin
Sol Negrin
Bill Neil
Alex Nepomniaschy
John Newby
Yuri Neyman
Sam Nicholson
Crescenzo Notarile
David B. Nowell
Rene Ohashi
Daryn Okada
Thomas Olgeirsson
Woody Omens
Miroslav Ondricek
Michael D. O’Shea
Vince Pace
Anthony Palmieri
Phedon Papamichael
Daniel Pearl
Edward J. Pei
James Pergola
Dave Perkal
Lowell Peterson
Wally Pfister
Bill Pope
Steven Poster
Tom Priestley Jr.
Rodrigo Prieto
Robert Primes
Frank Prinzi
John C. Hora
Tom Houghton
Gil Hubbs
Shane Hurlbut
Tom Hurwitz
Judy Irola
Mark Irwin
Levie Isaacks
Peter James
Johnny E. Jensen
Frank Johnson
Shelly Johnson
Jeffrey Jur
Adam Kane
Stephen M. Katz
Ken Kelsch
Victor J. Kemper
Wayne Kennan
Francis Kenny
Glenn Kershaw
Darius Khondji
Gary Kibbe
Jan Kiesser
Jeffrey L. Kimball
Adam Kimmel
Alar Kivilo
David Klein
Richard Kline
George Koblasa
Fred J. Koenekamp
Lajos Koltai
Pete Kozachik
Neil Krepela
Willy Kurant
Ellen M. Kuras
George La Fountaine
Edward Lachman
Ken Lamkin
Jacek Laskus
Denis Lenoir
John R. Leonetti
Matthew Leonetti
Andrew Lesnie
Peter Levy
Matthew Libatique
Charlie Lieberman
Stephen Lighthill
Karl Walter Lindenlaub
John Lindley
Robert F. Liu
Walt Lloyd
Bruce Logan
Gordon Lonsdale
Emmanuel Lubezki
Julio G. Macat
Glen MacPherson
Paul Maibaum
Constantine Makris
Denis Maloney
Isidore Mankofsky
Christopher Manley
ACTIVE MEMBERS
Thomas Ackerman
Lance Acord
Marshall Adams
Lloyd Ahern II
Russ Alsobrook
Howard A. Anderson III
Howard A. Anderson Jr.
James Anderson
Peter Anderson
Javier Aquirresarobe
Tony Askins
Charles Austin
Christopher Baffa
James Bagdonas
King Baggot
John Bailey
Michael Ballhaus
Andrzej Bartkowiak
John Bartley
Bojan Bazelli
Frank Beascoechea
Affonso Beato
Mat Beck
Dion Beebe
Bill Bennett
Andres Berenguer
Carl Berger
Gabriel Beristain
Steven Bernstein
Ross Berryman
Josh Bleibtreu
Oliver Bokelberg
Michael Bonvillain
Richard Bowen
David Boyd
Russell Boyd
Jonathan Brown
Don Burgess
Stephen H. Burum
Bill Butler
Frank B. Byers
Bobby Byrne
Patrick Cady
Antonio Calvache
Paul Cameron
Russell P. Carpenter
James L. Carter
Alan Caso
Michael Chapman
Rodney Charters
James A. Chressanthis
T.C. Christensen
Joan Churchill
Curtis Clark
Peter L. Collister
Jack Cooperman
Jack Couffer
Vincent G. Cox
Jeff Cronenweth
Richard Crudo
www.theasc.com September 2012 109
Richard Quinlan
Declan Quinn
Earl Rath
Richard Rawlings Jr.
Frank Raymond
Tami Reiker
Robert Richardson
Anthony B. Richmond
Bill Roe
Owen Roizman
Pete Romano
Charles Rosher Jr.
Giuseppe Rotunno
Philippe Rousselot
Juan Ruiz-Anchia
Marvin Rush
Paul Ryan
Eric Saarinen
Alik Sakharov
Mikael Salomon
Harris Savides
Roberto Schaefer
Tobias Schliessler
Aaron Schneider
Nancy Schreiber
Fred Schuler
John Schwartzman
John Seale
Christian Sebaldt
Dean Semler
Ben Seresin
Eduardo Serra
Steven Shaw
Richard Shore
Newton Thomas Sigel
Steven Silver
John Simmons
Sandi Sissel
Santosh Sivan
Bradley B. Six
Michael Slovis
Dennis L. Smith
Roland “Ozzie” Smith
Reed Smoot
Bing Sokolsky
Peter Sova
Dante Spinotti
Terry Stacey
Ueli Steiger
Peter Stein
Tom Stern
Robert M. Stevens
David Stockton
Rogier Stoffers
Vittorio Storaro
Harry Stradling Jr.
David Stump
Tim Suhrstedt
Peter Suschitzky
Alfred Taylor
Jonathan Taylor
Rodney Taylor
William Taylor
Don Thorin
John Toll
Mario Tosi
Salvatore Totino
Luciano Tovoli
Jost Vacano
Theo Van de Sande
Eric Van Haren Noman
Kees Van Oostrum
Checco Varese
Ron Vargas
Mark Vargo
Amelia Vincent
William Wages
Roy H. Wagner
Mandy Walker
Michael Watkins
Michael Weaver
Jonathan West
Haskell Wexler
Jack Whitman
Gordon Willis
Dariusz Wolski
Ralph Woolsey
Peter Wunstorf
Robert Yeoman
Richard Yuricich
Jerzy Zielinski
Vilmos Zsigmond
Kenneth Zunder
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Alan Albert
Richard Aschman
Kay Baker
Joseph J. Ball
Amnon Band
Carly M. Barber
Craig Barron
Thomas M. Barron
Larry Barton
Wolfgang Baumler
Bob Beitcher
Mark Bender
Bruce Berke
Bob Bianco
Steven A. Blakely
Mitchell Bogdanowicz
Michael Bravin
Simon Broad
William Brodersen
Garrett Brown
Ronald D. Burdett
Reid Burns
Vincent Carabello
Jim Carter
Leonard Chapman
Mark Chiolis
Denny Clairmont
Adam Clark
Cary Clayton
Dave Cole
Michael Condon
Robert B. Creamer
Grover Crisp
Peter Crithary
Daniel Curry
Ross Danielson
Carlos D. DeMattos
Gary Demos
Mato Der Avanessian
Kevin Dillon
David Dodson
Judith Doherty
Cyril Drabinsky
Jesse Dylan
Jonathan Erland
Ray Feeney
William Feightner
Phil Feiner
Jimmy Fisher
Scott Fleischer
Thomas Fletcher
Gilles Galerne
Salvatore Giarratano
Richard B. Glickman
John A. Gresch
Jim Hannafin
William Hansard
Bill Hansard, Jr.
Richard Hart
Robert Harvey
Michael Hatzer
Josh Haynie
Charles Herzfeld
Larry Hezzelwood
Frieder Hochheim
Bob Hoffman
Vinny Hogan
Cliff Hsui
Robert C. Hummel
Roy Isaia
George Joblove
Joel Johnson
John Johnston
Marker Karahadian
Frank Kay
Debbie Kennard
Glenn Kennel
Milton Keslow
Robert Keslow
Douglas Kirkland
Mark Kirkland
Timothy J. Knapp
Karl Kresser
Chet Kucinski
Chuck Lee
Doug Leighton
Lou Levinson
Suzanne Lezotte
Grant Loucks
Howard Lukk
Andy Maltz
Steven E. Manios, Jr.
Steven E. Manios, Sr.
Peter Martin
Robert Mastronardi
Joe Matza
Albert Mayer, Jr.
Bill McDonald
Karen McHugh
Andy McIntyre
Stan Miller
Walter H. Mills
George Milton
Mike Mimaki
Michael Morelli
Dash Morrison
Nolan Murdock
Dan Muscarella
Iain A. Neil
Otto Nemenz
Ernst Nettmann
Tony Ngai
Mickel Niehenke
Jeff Okun
Marty Oppenheimer
Walt Ordway
Ahmad Ouri
Michael Parker
Warren Parker
Dhanendra Patel
Kristin Petrovich
Ed Phillips
Nick Phillips
Joshua Pines
Carl Porcello
Howard Preston
Sarah Priestnall
David Pringle
Phil Radin
David Reisner
Christopher Reyna
Colin Ritchie
Eric G. Rodli
Domenic Rom
Andy Romanoff
Frederic Rose
Daniel Rosen
Dana Ross
Bill Russell
Kish Sadhvani
David Samuelson
Steve Schklair
Peter K. Schnitzler
Walter Schonfeld
Wayne Schulman
Juergen Schwinzer
Steven Scott
Alec Shapiro
Don Shapiro
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 2
Milton R. Shefter
Leon Silverman
Garrett Smith
Timothy E. Smith
Kimberly Snyder
Stefan Sonnenfeld
John L. Sprung
Joseph N. Tawil
Ira Tiffen
Steve Tiffen
Arthur Tostado
Jeffrey Treanor
Bill Turner
Stephan Ukas-Bradley
Mark Van Horne
Richard Vetter
Dedo Weigert
Evans Wetmore
Franz Wieser
Beverly Wood
Jan Yarbrough
Hoyt Yeatman
Irwin M. Young
Michael Zacharia
Bob Zahn
Nazir Zaidi
Michael Zakula
Les Zellan
HONORARY MEMBERS
Col. Edwin E. Al drin Jr.
Neil A. Armstrong
Col. Michael Collins
Bob Fisher
David MacDonald
Cpt. Bruce McCandless II
Larry Parker
D. Brian Spruill
Broad, Hatzer, Priestnall
Named Associates
New associate member Simon
Broad was born in Kent, England. He began
his career at Samuelson Film Service in
London, where he served as a crane opera-
tor and insert-car driver before eventually
joining the board as director of the feature-
film liaison office. In 1990, Broad joined Arri
Media as sales and marketing manager.
Seven years later, he took a break from
equipment rental to run a corporate enter-
tainment group and then serve as an agent
for cinematographers at ICM. In 2003, he
moved to the United States to work as vice
president of marketing for Arri CSC. He was
named president of the company in 2010.
New associate Michael Hatzer has
been part of the Hollywood post community
for more than 25 years. He began his career
at Deluxe Laboratories, where he worked as
an optical printer, negative cutter, dailies
color timer, trailer timer and feature color
timer; he photochemically timed more than
125 features, hundreds of trailers and
hundreds of thousands of feet of dailies. In
2005, Hatzer became a digital-intermediate
colorist at EFilm in Hollywood. Five years
later, he joined Technicolor Creative Services
in Hollywood as a senior digital-intermediate
colorist. His current title at Technicolor is
supervising digital-intermediate colorist.
New associate Sarah Priestnall, the
vice president for marketing development at
Codex Digital, is a 25-year veteran of the
post industry. She began her career as a
runner with the British post facility Molinare,
and went on to work at various post facilities
in London before moving to Los Angeles in
1991. She spent nine years with Kodak,
where she was the product manager for
Academy Award-winning Cineon software.
Prior to joining Codex, she held posts at
Cinesite and Hollywood Intermediate.
Metz Leads Workshop in Mexico
Henner Hofmann, ASC, AMC and
Laura Manghesi recently welcomed Rexford
Metz, ASC to Mexico City’s Centro de
Capacitación Cinematográfica, where Metz
led a workshop with students from CCC as
well as Centro Universitario de Estudios
Cinematográficos. Working on a soundstage
at Churubusco Studios, Metz led the
students through numerous lighting setups,
and the students shot footage of the results
with film and digital cameras. On the third
day of the workshop, Metz and the students
screened and discussed their footage.
AC Attends Mexico City Show
AC trekked south of the border to
attend the Expo Cine Video Television trade
show in Mexico City, where Umpeq-TV
Director Gerardo Sánchez Zarraga invited
the magazine to share booth space. Saul
Molina, AC circulation director, and Alex
Lopez, AC circulation manager, both made
the trip. Molina and Lopez note that Michael
Ibañez of 16x9 Inc. and Nela Fernandez
Gaos of Equipment & Film Design helped to
make the trip a success.
Cinematographers Invited
to Join Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences recently extended membership
invitations to 176 artists and executives who
have distinguished themselves by their
contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
The cinematographers invited to join were
(in alphabetical order) Florian Ballhaus;
Oliver Bokelberg, ASC, BVK; Anna J. Foer-
ster; Larry Fong, ASC; Alwin Küchler, BSC;
Toyomichi Kurita; George Mooradian,
ASC; Guillaume Schiffman, AFC; and Terry
Stacey, ASC.
AMPAS also recently elected its Board
of Governors for 2012-’13. First-time gover-
nor Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC joins John
Bailey, ASC and Richard Crudo, ASC in
representing the cinematographers’ branch.
Additionally, Richard Edlund, ASC and
associate member Craig Barron continue to
serve their three-year terms as representa-
tives of the visual-effects branch.
Clubhouse News
110 September 2012 American Cinematographer
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Top left: Associate member Simon Broad. Top right:
Associate member Michael Hatzer. Middle: Rexford
Metz, ASC leads a lighting workshop. Bottom: AC
circulation director Saul Molina (left) with Umpeq-TV
Director Gerardo Sánchez Zarraga.
Storaro Wins Vitec GTC Award
The Guild of Television Cameramen,
an independent, non-profit, international
organization, recently celebrated its 40th
anniversary and announced the winners of
the 2012 Vitec GTC Awards. Vittorio
Storaro, ASC, AIC won an Award for Excel-
lence for his work on the telefilm Rigoletto a
Mantova.
Additionally, three companies were
presented with GTC Seals of Approval: MTF
Services Ltd., for its Nikon to Sony F3
adapter; Easyrig AB, for its Easyrig 2.5 and
Cinema 3 camera supports; and Arri, for the
Alexa camera system.
Members, Guests Hit Links
The ASC recently hosted its 29th
annual Golf Classic at the Brookside Golf
Course. Coming off the fairway, the results
for active and associate members were as
follows: active members low net: James
Bagdonas, ASC (71); 2nd low net: Jack
Green, ASC (75); 3rd low net: Gil Hubbs,
ASC (75); active members low gross:
Michael Watkins, ASC (81); associate
members low net: Joseph Ball (72); 2nd
low net: Steven E. Manios Sr. (72); 3rd low
net: D. Brian Spruill (74); and associate
members low gross: David Dodson (80).
The 2012 Golf Committee was
chaired by Bradley Six, ASC and co-chaired
by Howard Anderson III, ASC; the
committee members were Russ Also-
brook, ASC; Bobby Byrne, ASC; Gil
Hubbs, ASC; Daryn Okada, ASC; Woody
Omens, ASC; and Owen Roizman, ASC.
The Society thanks all of the tourna-
ment patrons, contributors and gift angels,
including Arri, Arri CSC, Chapman/Leonard
Studio Equipment, Cinelease, Company 3,
Deluxe Laboratories, Eastman Kodak
Company, Encore, FotoKem, Fujifilm North
America Corp., Fujinon, Keslow Camera,
Kino Flo Lighting Systems, Mac Tech LED
Lighting, Panavision and Tiffen, for helping
to make the event a success.
Arri, NYU Present Volker
Bahnemann Award
Arri recently presented the second
annual Volker Bahnemann Cinematogra-
phy Awards to Hunter Baker and Pepe Avila
Del Pino in the undergraduate and gradu-
ate divisions, respectively. The award, which
is named after Bahnemann, a retired associ-
ate member and the former president and
CEO of Arri, is presented to cinematogra-
phy students at New York University’s Tisch
School of the Arts Maurice Kanbar Institute
of Film and Television. Honorees are
selected by faculty and are awarded
production grants to further their cinemato-
graphic work.
“After having retired from active
participation in the industry I love, there is
nothing more gratifying than to be exposed
to and involved with these enormously
motivated and talented young filmmakers,”
says Bahnemann. “Their imaginative work
is stunningly good and displays a high level
of knowledge of the entire complex
process. I am very happy being able to
contribute in some small manner to their
development.”
Schwinzer Joins ZGC,
Cooke Optics
Production equipment supplier ZGC
and precision lens manufacturer Cooke
Optics have appointed ASC associate Juer-
gen Schwinzer to a wide-ranging sales
and technical position. Schwinzer previously
spent 43 years with Arri.
ASC associate Les Zellan, the chair-
man and owner of Cooke Optics and pres-
ident of ZGC, says, “We are delighted and
honored to welcome Juergen to the team.
He is well known and respected throughout
the world for his incomparable technical
knowledge and his passion for the film-
making world, and ZGC and Cooke will
benefit greatly from his expertise and global
contacts.” ●
www.theasc.com September 2012 111
From top: Participants warm up before the
ASC Golf Classic; the players set off in their
golf carts; associate member Mike Morelli (left)
and Jack Green, ASC line up the next hole;
ASC associate Juergen Schwinzer.
112 September 2012 American Cinematographer
When you were a child, what film made the strongest impres-
sion on you?
Two very different ones. When I was 9, William Wyler’s Ben-Hur
(1959), shot by Robert Surtees, ASC, impressed me with its depth of
color, action and spectacle. When I was 12, my brother took me to
an art-house cinema to see Orson Welles’ The Trial
(1962), shot by Edmond Richard, AFC, which
opened my eyes to a maze-like dreamscape of
crisp black-and-white images with Dutch angles
on short lenses.
Which cinematographers, past or present, do
you most admire?
It’s so hard to limit this list. ASC members Karl
Struss and Charles Rosher for the camera moves
in Sunrise; Raoul Coutard, AFC for his work with
Godard and Costa Gavras; Conrad Hall, ASC for
his use of color in The Day of the Locust; Haskell
Wexler, ASC for the sense of immediacy and
movement in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and
Medium Cool; Owen Roizman, ASC for the vérité
style of The French Connection and the beautifully
lit urban interiors in Network; and Robert Elswit, ASC for the unique
color treatments in Syriana.
What sparked your interest in photography?
My mother gave me her Kodak Brownie Hawkeye bellows camera
when I was 9. I used the ‘light meter’ on the film box and was
amazed by the images that came out of that camera. I was also fasci-
nated by each week’s issue of Life, which had real-life images from
around the world that were so well shot.
Where did you train and/or study?
At Boston University, while minoring in film/television production, I
apprenticed to become a licensed projectionist, running old arc-light
projectors in 3,000-seat theaters. I was entranced by that beam of
light passing through a 35mm rectangle onto a huge screen. Later, I
ran the film labs and edited news film at Boston TV stations. When
The Brinks Job came to Boston, I worked on huge night scenes as
one of 16 arc-lamp operators. I was getting closer to the camera, but
I was still 75 yards away!
Who were your early teachers or mentors?
Pete Chvany, a film professor at Boston University; cinematographers
Brian Heller and Mike Fash, ASC, for whom I worked as a gaffer on
numerous projects; and Bobby Byrne, ASC, who taught me so much
about shot concepts and operating.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
Most of all, the light I see in the world each day, but also Godard’s
and Bergman’s films; Goya’s night exteriors; El Greco’s color;
Magritte’s magic hour; an old steel mill I once worked in but wasn’t
allowed to photograph; Nic Roeg’s radical camera style in Perfor-
mance; and the visual dynamics of Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson,
ASC, with whom I operated on two features.
How did you get your first break in the busi-
ness?
Ed Hershberger got me on a job loading Photo-
Sonics cameras for car crashes at a test track.
What has been your most satisfying moment
on a project?
On a daily basis, watching my crew execute a
complicated shot — the mechanics of the camera
move, focus, cued nets and dimmers, all in sync
with the actors — is still magic to me.
Have you made any memorable blunders?
While operating for Francis Kenny, ASC, on Sweet
Bird of Youth, I cut the camera and stepped off
the dolly to adjust a cocktail glass, then noticed
that Nic Roeg hadn’t yet called ‘Cut,’ and Elizabeth Taylor hadn’t
finished her last beat of the scene.
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
Know what you want to see in the shot before you plan logistics.
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
The Iranian film A Separation, Gary Shteyngart’s novel Super Sad
Love Story, and the LACMA exhibit In Wonderland: The Surrealist
Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States.
Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
An urban political thriller set in the 1920s.
If you weren’t a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
Landscape lighting and design, or political journalism.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Francis Kenny, Steven Poster and Ed Pei.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
It’s quite an honor to be part of the 93-year-old ASC as we move
through the digital era. And the fact that we can get together and
talk is fantastic, because cinematographers don’t usually work with
each other. ●
John Newby, ASC Close-up
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Film Matters. Tell the world why
at www.kodak.com/go/filmmatters

Film. No Compromise.

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